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(:!EOR(IE 8ET0N, Advooatk 





All Rights reserved 





Tj^OE many years, the author has been contemplating the 
publication of a Work relative to the Presidents of the 
Court of Session, and he has already collected a good deal 
of illustrative matter. By way of experiment, he has pre- 
pared the following Memoir of Alexander Seton, Earl of 
Dunfermline, who occupied the President's chair from 
1593 to 1605, when he was promoted to the oflSce of 
Lord Chancellor. He has been advised to print the 
Memoir as a specimen of the proposed mode of treat- 
ment ; and in the event of its being favourably received, 
he may perhaps be induced to undertake the issue of the 
entire series of Biographies. He may state, however, that 
most of the Memoirs — especially those of Seton's six pre- 


decessors in the office of President — ^would be compara- 
tively brief. 

Antiquarian Biography has somewhere been pronounced 
to be *'at once the most laborious and most unreadable 
kind of writing." The author can honestly state that he 
has done his best to give a human interest to his narrative, 
but it must rest with his readers to say to what extent his 
eflforts have been successful. He at least ventures to hope 
that his little Work will not be regarded in the same light 
as one of D'Alembert's learned productions, which the poet 
Gray described as being " dry as a bone, hard as a stone, 
and cold as a cucumber ! " 

Prefixed to the Memoir is a short account of the institu- 
tion of the Court of Session, while the Appendix contains 
a list of the Presidents to the present time, and genealogi- 
cal tables illustrative of the four principal legal families of 

The author has much pleasure in gratefully acknowledg- 
ing the help and information which he has obtained from 
the following gentlemen : Mr Dickson, Curator of the 
Historical Department, H.M. General Eegister House ; 
Messrs Burnett and Stodart of the Lyon Office ; Mr 


Clark, Keeper of the Advocates' Library ; Mr Adam, City 
Chamberlain; Mr James E. Lyell, Searcher of Records; 
the Rev. A. J. Milne, Minister of Fyvie; Mr George 
Robertson, Keeper of Dunfermline Abbey ; Mr P. B. 
Swinton of GiflFord ; and Mr William Kelly, F.S.A.,' Ivy 
Lodge, Leicester. He elsewhere refers to the courtesy of 
the Marquesses of Salisbury and Tweeddale, in having 
placed at his disposal certain letters and portraits of the 
subject of the Memoir. 

St Benmbt's, Edikbuboh, 
12th May 1882. 

Ckaiutllar Sftvn'i Boot-Siamf. 




Attempts of James I. to establish a Court of civil jurisdiction — Subse- 
quent efforts of James II. and James IV. — Institution of Court of 
Session by James V. — His zeal for the administration of justice — 
Influence of Sir David Lindsay — Character and accomplishments 
of the King — His premature death — Early Acts of Sederunt — Con- 
stitution of the Court of Session — The Lord Chancellor — The Presi- 
dent originally an ecclesiastic — His mode of election and precedency 
— Salary and official residence — " The Fifteen " — Ordinary and Ex- 
traordinary Lords — Titles of Scotch Judges — The first four Presi- 
dents chosen from the spiritual side — ^William Baillie of Provand 
(Seton's predecessor) the first Lay President, 


BiBTH, Education, and Call to the Bar— 1565-1686. 

The House of Seton — Its legal members — Birth and parentage of Alex- 
ander Seton — Cause of his father's marriage — Issue of the union — 
A "godbaime gift" — Seton*s early training at Rome — Oration de 
Ascensione Domini — Change of contemplated profession — Legal 
studies in France — "Public lesson" at Holyrood, . . .16 

Elevation to the Bench and the Peerage — 1586-1699. 

An Extraordinary Lord as Prior of Pluscarden — Royal grant of the 
priory lands— An Ordinary Lord under title of Urquhart^uspi- 


cions regarding his Popish tendencies — His designations in the 
Court Sederunts — Visit to Paisley — Elected President in 1593 — 
Dispute about the Honours — Appointed one of the Octavians — 
Convention of Estates at Falkland — Case of David Black, minister 
of St Andrews — The President summoned before the Synod of 
Lothian — Scene at the Tolbooth — Elected Provost of Edinburgh 
— Letter to the King from the minister of Elilconquhar — Character 
of the writer — Spirited proof of the President's independence as a 
Judge — The Voyage to the Isles — Pontes dedication of his " Newe 
Treatise " to the President—" Reverend " and " Notably," . . 21 


Judicial Career continued — 1600-1604. 

Seton's opposition to the proposed invasion of England — Created Lord 
Fyvie in 1698 — Cowrie Conspiracy — House of Ruthven — President's 
brother, Lord Seton, advanced to the Earldom of Winton — Peace- 
ful condition of Scotland — Approach of the accession — Claims of 
James VI. — Death of Queen Elizabeth — Sir Robert Carey's ride — 
The King's departure for England — Encounters Lord Winton's 
funeral at Seton — Enters London — ^The Royal children and their 
custodiers — Prince Cliarles intrusted to President Seton — The 
King's letter to Prince Henry — Lord Fyvie's correspondence with 
Cecil — National prejudices — The " Bonny Scot " — Origin of a well- 
known proverb — Lord Fyvie's reports of Prince Charles's health — 
His appeal for the due maintenance of the College of Justice — 
Appointed Vice-Chancellor — Question of the Union — Accompanies 
Prince Charles to Leicester — ^A banquet and its results — Delivers 
the Prince to the King — Important Acts of Sederunt, . 41 


Promoted to the Office of Chancellor, and advanced to 

AN Earldom— 1605-1609. 

Lord Fyvie sent as a Commissioner to London — Promoted to the office 
of Chancellor — Letter to Cecil from Whitehall — Returns to Scotland 
— Correspondence with the King — Created Earl of Dunfermline — 
Friendship between Seton and Cecil — Minute by the latter — Char- 
acteristic letter to the King — Street fight in Edinburgh — Facta nan 


verba — Letters to the King and EngliBh Chancellor relative to the 
plague — Lord Dunfermline's domestic affliction — The rebellious 
ministers — Accusations against Lord Dunfermline — His indignant 
letter to the King — Mr John Forbes and the Aberdeen Assembly 
—Street broil in St Johnstoun— " Decreet of Ranking "—The " Red " 
Parliament — ^Anniversary of the Qowrie Conspiracy — Dumbarton 
bulwark — Christmas of 1606 kept in Edinburgh — Lord Dunferm- 
line's correspondence with the King in 1607-8 — Disordered state of 
the Highlands — Good services of the Chancellor's " forbears," and 
and his own devotion to the Crown — Earl of Dunbar's visit to 
Edinburgh — The Chancellor's denial of intrigues with the Queen — 
Preceptory of St Anthony — Resigns the office of Provost of Edin- 
burgh — ^Excerpts from the city accounts — Torches for the Lord 
Provost — Payments for wine, etc — The Auchindrane Tragedy — 
Highland malefactors — Doctors Goodwin and Milwaird — The Chan- 
cellor's juvenile epigram to the King — Lord Dunbar's successful 
administration of the Borders, ..... 63 

Continuation op Chancellorship — 1610-1616. 

Case of Sir Henry Yelverton — Robes of the Chancellor and Lords of 
Session — Dunfermline race-bell — Horse-racing in Scotland — Lord 
Dimbar again visits Edinburgh — Capture of pirates in Orkney — 
Death of Lord Dimbar — Sir Robert Melville's laudation of Lord 
Dunfermline — He goes to the English Court — Appointed custodier 
of Holyrood — His offices connected with Dunfermline — Crucifix 
scandal in 1612 — Suppression of the Clan Gregor — Lord Dunferm- 
line appointed King's Commissioner — Death of Prince Henry — 
Elegies and Lamentations — Lord Dunfermline's correspondence with 
John Murray, " gentleman of the bedchamber " — Application for a 
new " poolke " for the Great Seal — His correspondent's " bedfellow " 
— The "kittell" laird of Skelmorlie — Meteorological epistle — Dis- 
turbance in Orkney — Question of the Eglinton honours — "Grey- 
steel " — Letters to the King and Murray — Successful settlement of 
the business — Spanish vessel in Firth of Forth — Disturbance at 
Burntisland — Rebellion of the Clan Donald — Alleged intrigue of 
the Chancellor — Further correspondence with Murray — Domestic 
obstacles to his journey to London — The Archbishops' oaths of 
allegiance — Royal missive relative to the Scotch collieries — Lord 


Sanquhar's favourable opinion of the Chancellor — Visit to the 
metropolis — Marquess of Huntly " warded " in Edinburgh Castle — 
Episode in the femily of Bemersyde — Proposed trial by combat, . 94 


Closing Years— 1617-1621. 

Convention of Uie Estates — Excitement in Edinburgh regarding the 
celebration of the Communion — Napier's dedication of his " Habdo- 
logisB" to the Chancellor — Being's visit to Scotland in 1617 — Sermon 
in Seton Church — Chancellor's letter to the King after his return to 
London — Royal visit to the Court of Session — Dunfermline House, 
Elgin — Renewal of the High Commission — Case of the Edinburgh 
burgesses — Mr Robert Bruce " delated " to the King — Defence of the 
Palatinate — Lord Dunfermline's appeal on behalf of Dr Archibald 
Hamilton — His curious letter to Sir Robert Kerr — ^The prospect of 
death — Parliament of 1621 — The Chancellor's harangue — The 
" grandchildren of Scotland "—The " Five Articles " of Perth— Bruce 
summoned before the Council, . . . . .120 

Death and Burial— 1622. 

Illness and death of the Chancellor — Relative letters from Earl and 
Countess of Mar — Formal intimation by Privy Council — Earl of 
Melros and Sir Thomas Henryson to John Murray — Acknowledg- 
ment of Lord Dunfermline's public services — Burial at Dalgety — 
Account of the ceremony — His Fifeshire estate — ^Dalgety Church 
— Opening of the Dunfermline vault in 1822 — John Lyoun's 
"Teares" — Lord Dunfermline's successor as Chancellor — His suc- 
cessful claim of precedency, ...... 135 


Marriages and Descendants. 

Lord Dtmfermline's three marriages and issue — His children's baptismal 
entries — Hay and Seton intermarriages — The Chancellor's " letter- 
will" — His son and successor, the second Earl — Testament and 
inventory — ^Appointment of tutors — Provision for his unmarried 
daughters — Excerpts from the inventory— Jewels and other valu- 


ables — Plate, library, and wardrobe — Scot8tarvet*8 account of the 
second Earl of Dunfermline — The Chancellor's widow, Countess of 
Calendar — The second Earl's active share in public affairs — Sym- 
pathy with the Covenanters — Patronage of Rev. Andrew Donald- 
son—Statutory acknowledgment of the second EarPs services — 
Bishop Quthry's statement — ^Third and fourth Earls — The latter 
with Dundee at Killiecrankie — Title forfeited in 1690 — Represen- 
tation of the family, . . . .150 


Architegtural anx> Heraldic Skill. 

The Chancellor's skill in Architecture and Heraldry — Edifices erected 
by the Setons — Fyvie Castle — Its noble features and proportions — 
Bacon's "perfect palace" — Markets and fairs at Fyvie — "Mill o' 
Tiftie's Annie" — The Heraldry of Fjrvie — Communion cup and 
stained glass — Pinkie House — Description of the structure — Inscri})- 
tions, devices, and monograms — Previous and subsequent owners, . 169 


Character and Qualifications. 

Seton's early promise and rapid promotion — A royal favourite — His 
numerous offices, honours, and possessions — Estimates of Spottis- 
wood and Calderwood — Tributes of Dempster, Crawfurd, Tytler, etc. 
— Latin Epigrams composed by Seton — Lines in Lesley's History of 
Scotland — Verses inscribed to Queen Mary — Epigram in Skene's 
"Regiam Majestatem" — Epitaphs at Seton and Dunfermline — 
Culture of the family of Seton — Lord Lindsay on the influence of 
the Chancellor — His versatility — Patronage of sport and pastimes 
— Character of James VI. — His successful administration — Execu- 
tion of Queen Mary — Superstition of the period — Witchcraft — The 
King's personal courage — His pedantry productive of learning — 
His able counsellors — Quaintness of Seton's correspondence — Par- 
tially unintelligible to the rising generation — ^Examples of puzzling 
passages — Laudatory tone of his letters to the King — His classical 
allusions — Homely simplicity of his epistles — His likeness as a boy, 
by Sir Antonio More — Portrait by F. Zuccaro at Yester — Summary 
of his character and qualifications, . . . . .179 

Addendum relative to the Custody of Prince Charles, . 199 




No. I. List op the Lord PREsroENTS or the Court op Session 

PROM 1532 TO THE PRESENT TIME, . . . .201 

No. II. Genealogical Tables illustrative op the pour principal 
Legal Families op Scotland : — 

1. Erskine. 

2. Hope. 


3. Dalrymple. 

4. Dimdas. 



I. Chancellor Seton, Frontispiece 

IL George, seventh Lord Sbton, and his Family, To face page 16 

IIL Signatures op Chancellor Seton, 

IV. Old Dalgbty Church, . 
V. Fyvib Castle, .... 

VL Seals op Chancellor Sbton, 
VII. PiNKiB House, . . . . 
VIII. The Chancellor's Book-Stamp, . 








• • • 




A S early as the year 1425, an attempt was made by James 
-'^ I. of Scotland to estabUsli a Court of supreme Civil 
Jurisdiction. It was ordained that the Chancellor, along 
with certain discreet persons chosen from the Three Estates, 
should sit three times yearly in a Court, known by the name 
of " The Session," at whatever place the sovereign might 
appoint, for the examination and decision of all complaints, 
causes, and quarrels that could be determined before the 
King's Council. The first Session was appointed to be held 
the day after the feast of St Michael the Archangel, the 
second on the Monday of the first week of Lent, and the 
third on the morning preceding the feast of St John the 
Baptist.^ Some thirty years later, the Parliament of James 
II. enacted that the Lords of the Session should sit thrice a 
year, forty days at a time, in Edinburgh, Perth, and Aber- 
deen. " The noumer of the persons that sail sit sail be 

1 1425, c. 65. 


nine, of ilk estate three." ^ Early in the sixteenth century 
— temp. James IV. — a Parliament assembled at Edinburgh 
ordained that " thair be ane consale chosen be the kingis 
hienes quhilk sal sit continually in Edinburgh, or quhar 
the king makes residence, or quhar it plesis him, to decide 
all manner of summondis in civile maters, complaints, and 
causes, daily, as thai sal happen to occur, and sal have the 
same power as the Lords of Session."* The main object of 
this Court of daily council was to relieve the Lords of Ses- 
sion from the confusion and pressure which had resulted 
from the accumulation of causes, and thus afford immediate 
redress to litigants. 

These various attempts to secure a satisfactory adminis- 
tration of justice appear to have signally failed. Each 
successive Parliament appointed a judicial committee, or 
" Dominos ad causas et querelas," who decided cases in the 
first instance, besides exercising an appellate jurisdiction. 
One enactment provided " that all summondis and causis 
that is left undecidit in this Parliament sal be decidit before 
the Lords of - Counsaile, the summondis standing as they 
now do ; " and accordingly, it not unfrequently happened 
that causes which commenced in the one court had to be 
disposed of in the other. At length, however, the func- 
tions of these two judicial bodies were united in the Court 
of Session — formally designated "The Lords of Counsell 
and Sessioun" — established by James V. in 1532.* 

* 1467, c. 61. a 1503, c. 68. 

• In the year 1868, a painted window, illustrative of the institution of the 
Court of Session, designed by M. von Kaulbach and executed by Chevalier 


The relative statute enacts that " our Soverane is maist 
desyrous to have ane permanent ordour of justice for the 
universale wele of all his lieges, and tharfor tendis to in- 
stitute ane College of cunning and wise men, baith of 
spiritual and temporal estate, for the doing and administra- 
cioun of justice in all civil actions, and tharfor thinkis to be 
chosin certane persones maist convenient and qualifit there- 
for, to the nowmer of xiiii persones, half spiritual half tem- 
poral, with ane president. . . . Providing alwayis that my 
Lord Chancelar, being present in this toim (Edinburgh) or 
uthr place, he sail have voit and be principale of the said 
Counsell, and sic uthr Lordis as sail pleise the Kingis 
Grace to enjoyne to thaim of his gret Counsell, to have 
voit siclik to the nomer of thrie or foure." ^ On attaining 
the age of twenty-five, James V. ratified the act of institu- 
tion, and ordained " that the said College and institution 
thereof remain perpetualie for the administracione of justice 

Ainmiller, both of Munich, was erected in the Parliament House, under the 
superintendence of her Majesty's Board of Works. Among other figures, the 
picture embraces the youthful monarch James V. enthroned ; Dunbar, Arch- 
bishop of Glasgow and Chancellor of Scotland, with his hand raised in bene- 
diction ; Alexander Myln, Abbot of Cambuskenneth, first President of the 
Court, kneeling before the King ; Sir Adam Otterbum, Provost of Edinburgh ; 
Nicolas Crawford of Oxengangs, Justice Clerk ; and Sir James Foulis of Colin- 
ton, Lord Clerk Register. The armorial bearings of the first 18 Presidents 
occupy the upper, and those of the last 11, the lower portion of the window, in 
chronological order. In the case of Myln and Preston, in the absence of evi- 
dence as to their armorial position, monograms have been substituted. The 
royal arms of Scotland and the escutcheon of the Faculty of Advocates are also 
introduced into the lower compartment. The contract price of the window, 
including £600 to M. von Kaulbach for the cartoon, amounted to £2000. 
1 1532, c. 2. 


to all the lieges of the realme. And to be honurit siclik as 
ony uthcr College of Justice in uther realmes." ^ 

While the first idea of the new Court is generally sup- 
posed to have been suggested by the Parliament of Paris, 
the influence of the Papal See on its constitution is 
also universally acknowledged — such terms as " Senators," 
" Advocates," and " College of Justice " being manifestly 
derived from Kome. Its establishment was warmly en- 
couraged by the Duke of Albany, as well as by Gavin 
Dunbar, Archbishop of Glasgow, one of the young King's 
most gifted preceptors, who then held the office of Chan- 
ceUor.2 Son of the chivakic and accomplished James IV. ,« 
and father of the brilliant but unfortunate Mary, the 
founder of the Court of Session was only twenty-one years 
of age at the time of its institution. Nineteen years had 
passed since the fatal field of Flodden, when — 

" The Flowers of the Forest were a' wede awa* " — 

» 1540, c. 93. 

' In alludiDg to the institution of the " Collegium judicum Edimburgi," 
Buchanan makes the following statement : " Omnium mdum bona quindecim 
hominum arbitrio sunt commissa, quibus et perpetua est potestas, et imperium 
plane tyrannicum, quippe quorum arbitria sola sunt pro legibus." Ruddiman, 
however, besides citing a very different estimate by Bishop Lesley, thus com- 
ments upon Buchanan's judgment : " Injusta prorsus ac amplissimo senatorum 
online indigna vox : nusquam enim terrarum gravior sanctiorque judicum con- 
sesHUs, nusijuam disertiores legumque peritiores caussarum patroni, nusquam 
majori ciun axiuabilitate jus dicitur." — Brichanani Opera, curante Thoma Ruddi- 
manno, i. 495. 

* A most graphic account of the moral, intellectual, and physical qualifica- 
tions of James IV. will be found in a letter from the Prothonotary Don Pedro 
de Ayala to Ferdinand and Isabella, dated 25th July 1498. — Bergenroth's 
Calendar of Letters, etc., in the archives at Simancas and elsewhere, 1862. 



and the country was only beginning to recover from the 
effects of that great national disaster. Owing to his zeal 
for the administration of justice among all classes of the 
community, it was the practice of the " King of the Com- 
mons" to disguise himself and famiHarly mingle with the 
humblest of his subjects. On one of these occasions, an 
amusing adventure at the foot of the Ochil Hills led to the 
youthful monarch's assumption of the sobriquet of "The 
Gudeman of Ballangeich," in connection with his subse- 
quent reception, at Stirling Castle, of a peasant who had 
entertained him unawares.^ " The dangers of the wilder- 
ness," says Pinkerton, " the gloom of the night, the tem- 
pests of winter, could not prevent his patient exertions to 
protect the helpless, to punish the guilty, and to enforce 
the observance of laws. From horseback he often pro- 
nounced decrees worthy of the sagest seat of justice ; and 
if overtaken by night, in the progresses wliich he made 
through his kingdom, or separated by design or by accident 
from his company, he would share the meal of the lowest 
peasant with as hearty a relish as the feast of his highest 
noble." In the same strain, an earlier historian writes as 
follows : "About this tyme (1525) the KLing past south to 
Edinburgh, and held justice aires, quhair manie plaintes 
cam to him of reiff, slauchter, and oppressioun, bot litle 
justice was vsed bot the purs, for thair was manie in that 
countrie war the earle of Angus' kin and freindis, that gott 
favourable justice, quhairof the King was not content, not 

* See Tytler's Lives of Scottish Worthies, iii. 262. 


non of the rest of the lordis that war about him, for they 
wold have justice equallie vsed to all men." ^ 

It may be reasonably supposed that the " manly, grave, 
and sage " Sir David Lindsay exercised a highly beneficial 
influence upon the character of James V. In his earliest 
poem, "The Dreme," he touchingly refers to the watch- 
ful care with which he tended his royal charge : — 

" Quhen thow wes young, I bure thee in myne arme 

Full tenderlie, tyll thow begouth to gang ; 
And in thy bed oft happit thee fuU warme. 

With lute in hand syne sweitlie to thee sang : 

Sumtyme, in dansing, feiralie I flang ; 
And sumtyme, playand farsis on the flure ; 
And sumtyme, on myne office takkand cure." 

In a letter to the Earl of Surrey, written in 1522 — ^when 
the king was only eleven years of age — ^the queen-mother 
says : " There is not a wiser child, or a better-hearted, or a 
more able;" while Surrey himself, in writing to Wolsey, 
declares of James that " he speaks sure for so young a 
thing." As he advanced towards manhood, the develop- 
ment of his character continued to be marked by many 
very promising features. According to the English ambas- 
sadors, he displayed a spirit and firmness quite above his 
age ; a good horseman, he skilfully tilted at the glove, and 
delighted in hawks and hounds, and other manly pursuits ; 
sang with power and precision ; danced with elegance ; and 
did credit to another of his instructors already referred to 
— ^the accomplished Gavin Dunbar — by the common-sense 
and intelligence which he exhibited. At the early age of 

^ Pitscottie's Cronicles of Scotland, ii. 319. 


sixteen, after the untoward dismissal of Lindsay and the 
other members of his personal household, he contrived, by 
a vigorous and spontaneous eflPort, to crush the baneful 
domination of Angus and the House of Douglas, which had 
been steadily encouraged by his crafty uncle, Henry Tudor. 
The early loss of James's first queen — ^the beautiful Princess 
Magdalen — ^was very soon followed by a second imion with 
another daughter of France, to which country the king 
was now compelled to look for assistance. That auspicious 
event, however, was destined to be followed, at no very 
distant date, by no fewer than three conspiracies against 
the king's life, the death of his two infant sons, and the 
disgraceful rout at Solway Moss. The brave and spirited 
monarch was plunged by these accumidated misfortimes 
into a state of gloomy despondency, which led to his death 
from a broken heart, at his palace of Falkland, in the thirty- 
first year of his age (1542), ten years after the institution 
of the " College of Justice," and only a few days after the 
birth of the daughter, whose romantic career forms one of 
the most deeply interesting episodes in the picturesque 
annals of Scotland. 

The first " Act of Sederunt " of the Court of Session, 
passed in the year of its institution, embraces the following 
among other curious provisions :— 

" Item, That settis be honestlie maid and couerit with grene 
claith, flokkit, on the Kingis expensis, quhar the Lordis sail sit ; 
and salbe maid ane burd quadrangulare or rownd, about the 
quhilk thair may sit xviij personis eselie ; and that thair be maid 
sett aboun sett, and ane bell to be hungin, to call in masaris, or 
parteis, as the Lordis requiris. 

8 FIRST *'ACT op sederunt." 

" Item, That all the Lordis sail entre in the Tolbuth and Coun- 
salhous, at viij houris in the momyng dayly, and sail sit quhil xi 
houris be strikin. 

• ••••■• 

" Iterriy That the Lordis beand sittin done, and billis begune to 
be red, that silence be had amangis the Lordis ; and that na man 
commone or speke of ony mater, nor round wyth his merrow 
\iLoliispeT wUh his fellovij, bot as he salbe requirit and sperit at 
be the Chancellar, or President ; and as thai command ony twa 
Lordis of the seitt to argone or dispute ony mater, that nane vthir 
interrup thame quhill thai haue done, and then the Chancellar, or 
President, to requir ony vthir to argone the mater; and when 
thai haue done, giff thai be ony vthir of the Lordis that hes ony 
opiniyone or argument to mak, at thai ask leiflf fra the Chancellar, 
or President, and than to argone as thai think expedient 

• •••••• 

"Item, It is statute and deuisit, that thair be ane certane 

nomer of Aduocatis and Procuratouris, to the nomer of tene per- 
sonis, tliat salbe callit Generale Procuratouris of the Counsall, 
of best name, knawledge, and experience, admittit to procure in 
all actionis, of quhame the namys heirefter followis, that is to say, 
Maister Robert Galbraith, Maister Robert Leslie, Maister Henry 
Spittall, Maister Johne Lethane, Maister Henre Lauder, Maister 
Thomas Kyncragy, Maister Thomas Margerebankis, Maister Wil- 
liam Johnestoun ; and giff ony vtheris cimniyne and able men 
will desyr to be admittit to the oflBce of aduocatioun and procura- 
tioun, thai salbe ressauit with the aviss of the saidis Lordis for 
completting of the said nomer, and that thir foresaidis Procura- 
touris procure for euery man for thair waigis, bot giff thai haue 
ressonable excuss.^ ** 

In the same yeax (1532) other Acts were passed with 
reference to the " special! honour and mantenance of the 

^ In 1648, nine other advocates were similarly chosen ; and in 1604, fifteen 
advocates were specially " appointit for the Inner-hons." 




Lordis of Sessioun," and for their exemption from taxes and 
military service ; while provision was also made respecting 
the administration of justice during the " feriate tyme of 
harvist." In 1555, detailed regulations were framed regard- 
ing the various sessions and vacations; and in 1609, con- 
form to the king's letter produced by Chancellor Seton, the 
lords, inter aliay " ordained the Yule vacance to be and 
continue from the 24th December to the 6th January 
inclusive y 

As already indicated, the " College of Justice " consisted 
of the Lord Chancellor, the Lord President, fourteen Ordi- 
nary Lords, and an indefinite number of supernumerary 
judges, styled " Extraordinary Lords." The last Chancellor 
of Scotland was James Ogilvie, Earl of Seafield, who, not- 
withstanding the provision in the 24th article of Union, 
that there should in future be only one great seal for the 
United Kingdom, was reappointed Chancellor of that part 
of Great Britain called Scotland, an office which seemed 
incompatible with that of Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. 
Lord Seafield continued to preside as head of the College 
of Justice, and to sign the interlocutors of the Court, on the 
strength of his anomalous dignity, long after the great seal 
of the United Kingdom had been intrusted to the custody 
of an English nobleman. 

Although, in the statute establishing the Court of Session, 
nothing is said as to whether the President shoidd be 
chosen from the spiritual or temporal side of the bench, 
it appears to be clear from the bull of approbation of Paul 
IIL that it was intended that he should always be an eccle- 


siafitic. This axrangement was accordingly carried out 
until after the Reformation, but the practice was abrogated 
by Act of Parliament in 1579.^ The earlier Presidents 
appear to have been appointed directly by the King and 
the Three Estates. At the election of Sir James Balfour 
(the sixth President) in 1567, express mention is made of 
the votes of the Lords, in the abstract of the act of his 
admission; and twelve years later a statute was passed 
in terms of which the choice of the President was vested in 
the " hail senators," who accordingly exercised their right 
of election at the appointment of Alexander Seton in 1593. 
This mode of election was followed till the middle of the 
seventeenth century ; but on the restoration of the Court 
of Session by Charles XL in 1661 — after an interruption 
of nearly eleven years — ^the President (Sir John Gilmour 
of Craigmillar) was nominated directly by the King ; and 
since that time the appointment has always been made 
by the Crown. At the same date, the precedency of the 

* In aUuding to the promotion of the clergy by James V. to the higher 
offices in the State, Tytler says : " Nor are we to wonder at the preference 
evinced by the monarch, when it is considered that in learning, talents, and 
acquaintance with the management of public afbirs, the superiority of the 
spiritual over the temporal estate was decided." — History of Scotland, v. 237. 

Sir David Lindsay, however, in his " Complaynt to the King," very pointedly 
objects to the prelates of the Kirk — 

'* Tayking in realmes the govemall, 
Baith gyding Court and Sessioun, 
Contrar to thair professioun ; 

• ••••• 

Quhy sulde they mell with Ck>urt or Sessioun, 
Except it war in splrituall thyngis ? 
Roferryng unto Lordis and Kingis 
Tomporall causis to be docydit." 




Lord President was settled by a statute, whicli declared 
that he should rank before the Lord Clerk Register, the 
Lord Advocate, and the Treasurer-Depute.^ 

The salary of the Lord President was long the same as 
that of each of his fourteen brother judges ; but in respect 
of the dignity and importance of his office, a supplementary 
allowance was added by the Crown to the remuneration, 
which in the time of Sir (Jeorge Lockhart of Camwath 
(1686-9) amounted to £700 sterling. In 1708 the salary 
was advanced tp £1000, to £2000 in 1786, to £3000 in 
1799, and reached its present amount — £4800 — in 1839. 
For many years, the President possessed a house in 
Edinburgh free of rent — a privilege which was first con- 
ferred by the Corporation in 1676, in consequence of the 
many good offices rendered to the community by the then 
President, Sir James Dabymple, afterwards Viscount Stair. 

^ On the 18th of November 1729, the Lord President (Sir Hew Dalrymple) 
produced a letter addressed to the Court of Session by Queen Caroline, Guardian 
of the Kingdom, in which it was declared that " the President of his Majesty's 
College of Justice shall have the first place, and on all occasions shall take rank 
and have precedency of the Chief Baron of his Majesty's Exchequer in Scot- 
land ; and the said Chief Baron shall continue to take rank and have prece- 
dency of the remanent senators of the said College of Justice ; and the reman- 
ent senators and Barons of Exchequer shall take place of each other, according 
to the date of their commission or appointment to their respective oflSces." — 
Nisbet's System of Heraldry, II. iv. 171. The last remnant of the Scottish 
Court of Exchequer was abolished in 1856. The office of Justice-General, the 
head of the Scottish Justiciary (or Criminal) Court, was formerly a sinecure — 
the last wmiinaX holder of the appointment having been James, thinl Duke of 
Montrose, at whose death, in 1836, the duties were transferred to the Lord 
President of the Court of Session. The precedency of the Justice-General is 
discussed by Sir George Mackenzie in his well-known treatise on Precedency, 
published in 1680. 

*< n^mT^ A /%T>TNTxr A «Tr " 


This immunity was renounced by President Forbes of Cul- 
loden (1737-48), and has not been reclaimed by any of his 

The number of the senators of the College of Justice — 
fourteen Ordinary Lords and a President, frequently spoken 
of as " The Fifteen " ^ — continued unaltered for nearly 300 
years, haring been reduced to thirteen (the existing staff) 
in the year 1830.^ The distinction of spiritual and tem- 
poral judges provided by the act of institution was long 
very carefully preserved, but was eventually ordered to 
be "suppressed and forgotten" by the Act 1640, c. 53, in 
terms of which the senators were required to be wholly 
temporal. The limited power of nominating the " Extra- 
ordinary" Lords, authorised by the Statute of 1532, was 
speedily abused by the Crown, as many as seven or eight 
noblemen being frequently added to the staff of Ordinary 
judges ; but in 1617, James VI. promised, in a letter to the 
Court, that in future there should be only four Extraordi- 
nary Lords. In 1723 it was enacted^ that any vacancy 

^ " A weel-kenn*d plea ; it has been four times in afore the fifteen^ and deil 
onything the wisest o' them could mak o't, but just to send it out again to the 
Outer House. it's a beautiful thing to see how lang and how carefully 
justice is considered in this country ! " — The Antiquary, chapter II. 

* 1 Gul. IV. c 69. The Justice-Clerk, as the designation indicates, was 
originally merely the clerk of the Justiciar's office ; but he became, after the 
Restoration, a recognised judge in the Criminal Court. Till the beginning of 
the eighteenth century, he was only on one or two occasions a judge of the 
Court of Session, in which, however, he had no pre-eminence until 1808. By 
the Act of 48 Geo. III. c. 161, by which the Court was separated into two Divi- 
sions, it was provided that the Lord Justice-Clerk should preside in the Second 
Division, and he now ranks immediately after the Lord President 

» 10 Geo. I. c 19. 



which might thereafter occur among the Extraordinary 
Lords was not to be filled up by the Crown; and ac- 
cordingly the office expired in the person of John, fourth 
Marquess of Tweeddale, who died in 1762. No emolument 
was attached to the office of Extraordinary Lord. 

It has long been the practice for Scottish judges to be 
distinguished by the title of " Lord " prefixed, to their 
judicial designation, which is frequently territorial. " It 
is the usual custom in North Britain," says the English 
compiler of a Scottish Peerage in 1756, " sprung from a 
singular affectation, to give all judges, though commoners, 
the appellation of Lords, deriving their titles from the town 
or place where they live — as Lord Strichen, Lord Kil- 
kerran. Lord Woodhall, etc. ; but as they are no part of the 
Peerage, and should only be called Lords in their office, as 
the judges are in South Britain, it was needful to insert 
this remark, lest the good people of England make a dan- 
gerous mistake, and imagine the Scots Peerage to be in- 
exhaustible." The wives of these official dignitaries do 
not share in their husbands' honours, being only described 
as plain "mistresses," with the addition of the marital 
surname. It appears, however, that the ladies were not 
always contented with such an inconsistent arrangement. 
Sir Walter Scott informs us that their pretensions to title 
were repelled by James V., the founder of the Court of 
Session. "I made the carles Lords," he said, "but who 
the devil made the carlines Ladies?"^ 

* Redgaimtlet, i. 274, note. The wives of archbishops and bishops in 
England are in a still more anomalous position, and are quaintly compai^ by 
Selden, in his Table Talk, to a " Monkey's Qog." 


The first four Presidents of the Court of Session were 
chosen from the spiritual side — ^viz., (1532) Alexander 
Myln, Abbot of Cambuskenneth, and author of the * Lives 
of the Bishops of Dunkeld' ;^ (1549) Robert Reid, Bishop 
of Orkney, and the originator of the foundation of the 
University of Edinburgh; (1558) Henry Sinclair, Bishop 
of Ross, second son of Sir Oliver Sinclair of Roslin ; and 
(1565) John Sinclair, Bishop of Brechin, younger brother 
of Henry, who officiated at the marriage of Mary and 
Damley. The first lay President was (1566) William 
Baillic of Provand, " of the House of Lamington " — John 
Sinclair's successor — who was deposed by the Regent 
Murray, shortly after his appointment, on the pretext of 
his not being a prelate, to make way for (1567) Sir James 
Balfour of Pittendriech, Parson of Flisk, who is described 
by Knox as " blasphemous Balfour," and by Robertson the 
historian as " the most corrupt man of his age." On the 
removal of Balfour, in the course of the following year, 
Baillie again took possession of the President's chair, which 
he continued to occupy till his death on the 26th of May 

1 Bannatyne Club, 1823-31. 






John, 2d Lord Seton^ 
5th in descent from whoni 

George, 7th Lord Seton, 

the faithful adherent of Mary Queen of Scots, 

m. Isabel, d. of Sir William Hamilton of 

Sanquhar, a Senator of the College of Justice, 

and High Treasurer of Scotland. 


I. George, 6th Lord Se 
1633, 0.71 ExtraA>rdlnury Lonl 


Robert, Ist Earl of Winton. 

III. Hon. Sir John Seton of Bams, 

Knight of St logo, and Master of 

the Household to rhilip H. of Spain, 

1688, an Extraordinary Lord of SessioUj 

6th in descent from whom i^'as 

Lieutenant-Colonel James Seton, 

alive in 1842. 

Robert, 2d Earl of Winton, 

m. Anne, d. of John, Ijonl 

Thirlstaiie, Chancellor of 

Scotland, s. p. 

II. Alexander St toe" 
1st Earl of Dunfemili 

1586, Lord Plvscanlen (Extn 

1587, Lonl Urqvhart (Ordiiii 
1593, Loni President of t/i 

Session. J 

1604, Lord Chancellor of Sci 

I : 

Geoi^e, 3d Earl of Winton, 

the Chancellor's executor, and 

builder of Winton Castle. 

Alexander, 6th Earl of Eglinton, 
ancestor of the present and 

14th Earl. (Assumed 
surname of Montgomerie,) 

George, Lord Seton. 
cb. vitdpatrU. 

George, 4th Earl of Winton. 


Ibt Viscount Kingston, 

whose heir of line is 

William-James Hay 

of Dunse Castle. 


3d Earl of Dunfermline, 

died unmarried. 

George, 5th Earl of Winton, 

forfeited 1715. 

Died unmarried at Rome, 1740. 






rpHE vacancy in the office of President of the Court of 
-■■ Session, caused by the death of William Baillie of Pro- 
vand in 1593, was filled by the appointment of a man who 
was destined to occupy an important position in the councils 
of the kingdom. The " House " to which he belonged had 
for centuries made its mark in the national annals, and 
already possessed the honourable characteristic of unshaken 
attachment to the throne, which was first conspicuously 
displayed in support of Robert Bruce on the field of 
Methven. It had hitherto been more distinguished in war- 
fare than in civil pursuits ; but in the course of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries, six of its members found 
their way to the Scottish bench.^ Of these, the most 

* Three Extraordinary and three Ordinary Lords — viz., 1. George, sixth Lord 


illustrious became President Baillie's successor in the per- 
son of Alexander Seton, third surviving son of George, 
seventh Lord Seton — the " truest friend " of Mary Stuart 
— ^by Isabel, daughter of Sir William Hamilton of Som 
and Sanquhar, High Treasurer of Scotland. The date of 
Alexander Seton's birth is pretty accurately ascertained 
• ' from the specification of the ages in the picture of the 

i. seventh Lord Seton and his family, by Sir Antonio More, 

^' badly engraved in Pinkerton's * Scottish Gallery,' where 

I Lord Seton (" G. S.") is described as thirty-nine, and his 

son Alexander (" A. S.") as fourteen. Lord Seton died in 


■. Seton, 1533. 2. Alexander Seton, his grandson, the subject of this Memoir. 3. 

I Sir John Seton of Bams, 1588, an elder brother of the preceding. 4. Alex- 




ander Seton of Gargunnock, Lord Kilcreuch, 1626 (knighted by Charles I. at 

J Holyrood seven years afterwards), second son of James Seton of Touch, and 

ancestor of Sir Bruce-Maxwell Seton of Abercom, Bart. At the election of Sir 
Robert Spotswoode to the office of President in 1633, Lord Kilcreuch was 
" nominated and made choice of along with him to be upon the leetis of the 
. said office." 5. Charles Seton, second Earl of Dunfermline, 1669, son of No. 2. 
C! Sir Alexander Seton, Bart, Lord Pitmedden, 1677, ancestor of Sir James- 

i" Lumsden Seton, Bart. Lord Pitmedden was removed from the bench in 1686,* 

on account of his refusal to concur in James VII.*s proposed repeal of the penal 
laws. His own curious account of his det)osition is quoted by Lord Hailes 
in the Notes on his Catalogue of the Lords of Session. Lord FountainhaU 
observes that, " in the Parliament of 1686, of all the judges, Pitmedden only, 

', like Athanasius, opposed the Court" According to Wodrow, he possessed 

, an extensive and curious library. He published an edition of Sir GJeorge 

Mackenzie's Law of Scotland in Matters Criminal, to which he annexed a 
treatise on Mutilation and Demembration. 

In his History of Scottish Writers, Dempster refers to a William Seton, 

> Regius Professor of Jurisprudence at Angiers, as one of the greatest lawyers of 

his age. He was residing at Rome when Dempster wrote his History (c 1627), 

^ and was doubtless "le docteur William Seton" mentioned by Francisque- 

Michel (Les Ecossais en France, ii. 295) as one of the most learned men of his 

. . time — a distinguished " jurisconsulte," and, in the opinion of his contemporaries, 

" le flambeau de T^poque." 










«/, f,„,„/,, 


January 1585, at the age of fifty-five/ and consequently 
must have been thirty-nine years of age in 1569 (the date 
of the picture) ; while, at the same period, his son Alex- 
ander was fourteen, which would make the year of his 
birth 1555. At the time of Lord Seton's marriage, his 
father-in-law. Sir William Hamilton, was Captain of the 
Castle of Edinburgh, and one of the Senators of the College 
of Justice. The following details regarding the cause of 
the union are given in Sir Kichard Maitland's quaint 
History of the family : — 

** The caus of this maryage wes be ressoun that my Lord Duik of 
Chatellarault, Erie of Arrane, Lord Hammiltoun, etc., was gouernour 
of this realme, and his brother, Johne Archebischop of Sanctandrois, 
was Thesaurar, and sumthing scharp to the said Lord George 
(7th Lord Seton) and maid him impediment in the brouking [pos- 
session] of certane few landis of Kirklistoun, that the said Georgeis 
fader gat in few of Dauid Betoun, Cardinale of Sanctandrois. 
For the quhilk caus, the said Lord George thocht gude to allya 
him self with sum of my Lord Duikis freyndis and surename ; 
and becaus the said S'* WiUiame (Hamilton) was gritest, maist 
substantious and honest, of that surename, nbct my said Lord 
Duikis self, haveand dochteris at age to marey, he thocht gud to 
marey his dochter, thinkand thairthrow to haue the mair favour 
and mantenance of the Lord Duik and his brother, the Arche- 
bischop of Sanctandrois : and for resonable tocher and gratuiteis 
gevin and done to the said Lord George ; and becaus my Lord 

^ His widow died in 1604, about the age of aeventy-five, and accordingly she 
and her husband must have been bom very near the same date. She received 
as a gift from Queen Mary one of " troys bagues gamye de petis rubys." — In- 
ventories of Mary Queen of Scots, 1863, p. 113. A stone resembling a ruby 
appears in the ring on her son's finger in the portrait at Yester, to be afterwards 
noticed ; and possibly the royal gift may have been inherited by the Chancellor 
as the " godbaim " of Queen Mary. 


18 A "GODBAmyE gift/' 

Doik allegit his marrage to be in our souerane Ladies handis and 
his, be ressoun of his office, as the indentoie of marrage mair 
f ullelie proportis, in the quhilk my said Lord and the said Arche- 
bischop are contractoris." ^ 

The issue of the marriage was one daughter, Margaret, 
who married Lord Claude Hamilton, Conmiendator of Pais- 
ley, and ancestor of the Duke of Abercom,* and five sons 
— viz., George, Master of Seton, who died young; Robert, 
eighth Lord Seton, and first Earl of Winton; Sir John 
Seton of Bams, Knight of the Order of St lago, and Master 
of the Household to Philip H. of Spain ; Alexander, Lord 
President and Chancellor ; and Sir William Seton of Kyl- 
lismore, one of the Chief- Justices of the Borders, Sheriff" of 
Mid-Lothian, and Postmaster of Scotland. 

From his godmother. Queen Mary, Alexander Seton 
received, as " ane godbairne gift," the lands of Pluscarden 

* Hiirtory of the House of Seytoun, p 43. The marriage was commemorated 
hj a medal bearing the initials of the spousee (G. S. and I. H.) and the legend 
" Ung Dieu, ung loy, ung foy, ung roy." — See Register of the Privy Council of 
Scotland, voL i., Introduction, p. xxx, note ; and Francisque-Michers Civilisa- 
tion in Scotland, p. 125. 

* A mural faiblet in the chapel of St Mirrinus at Paisley, bearing the im- 
paled arms of Hamilton and Seton, surrounded by a linked chain somewhat 
resembling a corddihe, commemorates three infant children of Lord Claude 
and his young wife Margaret Seton. In touching allusion to their premature 
decease, the epitaph concludes as follows : — 

*' Felices anime vobis svprema parentes 
Solwnt vos iUis solvere quae decvit." 

Like his loyal father-in-law. Lord Claude was a devoted adherent of Queen 
Mary, meeting her at Queensferry after her escape from Lochleven, command- 
ing her vanguard at Langside, and forming one of her retinue at Carlisle — " a 
brave and gallant gentleman, of steady honour and unspotted integrity." 


in Moray, with which he was otherwise afterwards iden- 
tified. " Finding him of a great spirit," his father sent him 
to Eome at an early age, with the view of his following the 
profession of a churchman, and he studied for some time in 
the Jesuits' College. " He declaimed, not being sixteen 
years of age, ane learned oration of his own composing, De 
Ascensione Dominiy on that festivall day, publickly before 
the Pope, Gregory the 13th, the cardinall, and other prelats 
present, in the Pope's chapel in the Vatican, with great 
applause. He was in great esteem att Eome for his learn- 
ing, being a great humanist in prose and poecie, Greek and 
Latine; well versed in the mathematicks, and had great 
skill in architecture and herauldrie." ^ According to Spot- 
tiswoode, Seton took holy orders abroad, and the assertion 
appears to be confirmed by Scotstarvet, who mentions that 
" his chalice wherewith he said mass, at his home-coming, 
was sold in Edinburgh." ^ 

The establishment of the Eeformed religion in Scotland 
is supposed to have induced young Seton to abandon his 
ecclesiastical pursuits and to betake himself to the study of 
the civil and the canon law, to which he vigorously applied 
himself. After a residence of several years in France, he 
returned to Scotland to prosecute his legal studies, and 
ultimately " made his public lesson of the law before King 
James the Sixth, the senators of the CoUedge of Justice, 

* History of the House of Seytoun (Continuation by Alexander, Viscount 
Kingston), p. 63. Lord Kingston adds that he was informed at Rome that if 
Seton had remained there, he would have been a cardinal. 

^ Staggering State of the Scots Statesmen, p. 16. 


and advocats present, in the chapell royall of Holyrood- 
house, in his lawer goun and four-nooked cape, as lawers 
use to pass their tryaUs in the universities abroad, to the 
great applause of the king and aU present, after which he 
was received by the CoUedge of Justice as ane lawer." ^ 
The precise date of his " call to the Bar " does not appear, 
but it was probably about 1577, when he was twenty-two 
years of age. 

^ Continuation of the House of Seytoun, p. 65. 





TN 1583, the youtliful advocate accompanied his father, 
-■- Lord Seton, in an embassy to Henry III. of France ; 
and on the 27th of January 1586, he was admitted as an 
Extraordinary Lord of Session, by the style of Prior of 
Pluscarden,^ in room of James Stewart, Lord Donne, father 
of the " Bonnie Earle o' Moray." The priory of Pluscarden 
in Morayshire, a cell of the Abbey of Dunfermline, had been 
bestowed by Queen Mary on Seton's father in 1561, and 
four years later (17th September 1565), it was formally 
conveyed to himself by Queen Mary and Damley in a letter 
of confirmation, which is preserved in the Eegister of the 
Privy Seal. The record sets forth that, in respect of 

" The tbankfull and obedient seruice done to thair Maiesteis bo 
thair cousing, George Lord Seytoun, Thairfore in his fauouris and 
to his vitilitie weile and profitte Ordanis ane lettre etc. to thair 

^ Seton's seal, as Prior of Pluscarden, is described in the first yolome of 
Laing's Catalogue of Ancient Scottisli Seals, No. 1099, 


weil-belouit Alexander Seytoun son to thair cousing, gevand 
grantand and disponand to him for all the dayis of his lyfe the 
Priourie of thair Abbay of Pluscardin, liand within the diocie of 
Murray, with the place, housis, yairdis, orcheardis, with all and 
sindrie landis^ rentis, teindis, mylnis, multuris, fischeingis, froitis, 
emolumentis, profittis, casualiteis, priuil^is and dewiteis quhat- 
sumeuir quhilkis in ony times bigane hes pertenit or may pertene 
to the said Priourie and benefice thairof in ony tymes to cuul" 

Towards the close of the letter it is declared that the gift 
and disposition of the Priory " is now and salbe in all tjnne 
cnming of als greit strenth force and eflfect as the samin 
had bene provydit in the Court of Eome be the ordour 
thairof obseruit in tymes bepast." 

In 1587,^ the lands of Urquhart and Pluscarden were 
erected into a barony, and granted to the highly favoured 
Prior ; and the following year (16th February 1588) he was 
promoted to the position of an Ordinary Lord, under the 
title of Lord Urquhart, upon the death of James Meldrum 
of Segie. The relative king's letter proceeds as follows : — 

" We understanding particularly the good literature, pratik 
judgement, and sufficient qualification of our well beloved and 
trusty counsellor Alexander Seyton Barron of Urquhard, apt and 
meet to use and exerce one of the ordinary places and number 
of our College of Justice, and that he is of good fame, having 
sufficient living of his own, therefore nominate and present him 
to the place and room ordinary of our said College of Justice, 
vacant by deceiss of umquhile James Meldrum of Segy, last 
occupied by him, requiring and desiring you to try and examine 
him, and being found qualified, to admit him to the said ordinary 

* The year of Queen Mary's execution at Fotheringay. See Chapter X. 


In conformity with the royal injunction, Seton was duly 
admitted, and took the oath of office ; but the suspicion of 
his still being a Eoman Catholic appears to have excited 
the jealousy of the Court. The record of his admission 
bears that — 

" Becaus y** saidis lordis wer iaformit y* y** said Alexander has 
not as yit communicat w* the whole of the faithful brethren the 
sacrament of the Supper of our Lord, and therefore, according to 
the lawis and statutes of this realm, he my* not be ane sufficient 
juge with the remanent lordis of the session, and therefore the 
said Alexander has bunden and obleist himself that he sail, with 
the grace of God, communicate with the rest of the brethren of 
the sessioun the sacrament of the Supper of the Lord, at the 
prefixt time appointed be the ministers of Edinburgh, or at the 
lest before the dayes appointed j^ be past, and in case he failye 
thairin, he sail leiss his said ordinar place." ^ 

In Pitmedden's Abridgement ^ it is here noted as follows : 
" I have not observed this to have been done to any other ; 
but he was ever subject to the smell of the pan " ! 

After Seton's admission as an Extraordinary Lord, he is 
usually entered in the Sederunt as " Pluscarden," and on 
one occasion as " Alexander Seytoun prior Pluscarden." 
His last appearance under the name of the priory is in the 
Sederunt of 16th February 1588 ; and in his admission as 

* Books of Sederunt. 

* " Pitmedden MS." is a very frequent reference in Brunton and Haig's His- 
torical Account of the Senators of the CoUege of Justice. I have been unable 
to discover the present possessor of the manuscript, which does not appear to be 
either in the Register House or the Advocates' Library. It was the production 
of Sir Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden, already referred to. 


an Ordinary Lord, on the same day, he is styled " Baron 
of Urquhart," as in the king's letter already referred to. 
The day following he appears simply as " Urquhart ; " but 
in the admission of his brother. Sir John Seton, into his 
place as an Extraordinary Lord, he is again pointedly 
described as " now Baron Urquhart ; " while in many of 
the subsequent Sederunts he is entered as " D^ Urquhart." 
It has been generally supposed that his elevation to the 
peerage did not take place till 1597, when he was created 
Baron Fyvie;^ but there seems to be good ground for 
holding that "Urquhart" was something more than a 
judicial title, and that he was ennobled under that designa- 
tion several years earlier than has been hitherto believed. 
Crawfurd, in his ' Peerage of Scotland,' expressly states that 
he was " advanced to the dignity of a Lord of this realm," 
on the 3d of August 1591 ; and in a document in the State 
Paper Office (vol. xlviii. No. 62), entitled "The present 
state of the Nobilitie in Scotland, the first of July 1592," 
and endorsed by Lord Burghley, Lord Urquhart is entered, 
along with Lords Altrie, Newbottle, and Spynie, under the 
head of " Lords or Barons, created of landes appertaining 
to Busshopricks and Abacies " — his " Lordship " being de- 
scribed as " founded on the Priory of Pluscardy." 

On the 29th of December 1591, licence was given to 
Lord Urquhart " to pass west to Paslay to visit my Lady 
of Paslay, his sister, who has contracted sickness as he is 

^ In Wood's edition of Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, the 4th of March 1598 
is the date assigned to his creation as Baron Fjvie, but he appears as ^^ Fyyie 
Preses " in the Sederunt of 20th December 1597. 


Burelie informed, and that for the space of nine days ; " ^ 
apropos to which his kinsman Pitmedden remarks : " I 
suppose it was rather to keep the haly feast of Yule 

with her." 

It may be presumed that Lord Urquhart, besides satis- 
fying " the rest of the brethren," must have discharged his 
judicial fanctiomr in a creditable manner, seeing that, five 
years after his appointment as an Ordinary judge, he was 
elected to the President's chair, at the comparatively early 
age of thirty-eight. Two days after the death of Lord 
President Baillie — ^viz., on the 28th of May 1593 — the 
judges proceeded to exercise the power of electing their 
President, lately conferred upon them by statute. 

"The spiritual syd of the saidis lordis nominat. Alexander, 
Lord Urquhart, ane of the temporal number,^ and the temporal 
syde nominat M^- Johne Lindsay, persoune of Menmuir,* ane 

* Books of Sederunt, At least two other entries appear in the Books of 
Sedenint relative to the President's absence from the Court, of which one is to 
the foUowing effect, under date " July 1696," and no doubt refers to a visit to 
Fyvie Castle : " The Lordis excusis my Lord Vrquhart, President, his absence 
in respect of his necessar adois [6imn«M] in the North qu" the last day of this 
instant moneth of Julij.'' Had the date been a month later, we might have 
inferred that the cause of the President's absence had something to do with his 
Aberdeenshire moor ! 

■ It is somewhat curious that in a list of the " Lords of Session " in the 
Books of Sederunt, under the date 15th June 1587, Scton is entered as one 
of the two Extraordinary Lords of the " spiritucUl estait," the other being Mark 
Abbot of Newbottle ; while Robert, Lord Boyd, and the Mawter of Glammis 
appear as the two Extraordinary Lords of the " temporall estait." 

• John Lindsay, Lord Menmuir, was the second son of David, ninth Earl of 
Crawford, and ancestor of the present Earl of Crawford and Balcarres. An in- 
teresting notice of this distinguished judge and statesman will be found in Lord 
Lindsay's charming family record, The Lives of the Lindsays, i. 338-80. 

M TT^'^^^TXno " 


of the spiritual syde, to be upoun the lyttis of the said office. 
Quhilkis twa lordis being removit furth of judgement, the saidis 
lordis hes electit, nominat, and chosin, and presentlie electis, 
nominates, and chois the said Alexander, Lord Urquhart, as 
President of the said College of Justice, during his life, and the 
said Lord Urquhart promised, in presence of the saidis lordis, 
that he sail trewlie minister justice to all our soverane lordis 
leiges in the said office, and observe and keip the actis and 
statutes of session, defend and maintain the senatouns thairof, 
and haill members of court." ^ 

After Seton's advancement to the office of Lord President, 
he continues to be entered in the Sederunt as " Urquhart," 
but always first in order, except when the Chancellor hap- 
pens to be present. His last appearance as " Urquhart " is 
in the Sederunt of 8th December 1597, after which he is 
entered as " Fyvie Preses ; " while his last appearance as 
President is 10th March 1604. On the 5th of March 1605 
— four days after the admission of Lord Balmerino, his 
successor in the office of President — he appears first in the 
Sederunt, as " Alexander Erie of Dunfermling Lord Fyvie 
and Urquhart Cancellarius." ^ 

About two months after Lord Urquhart's elevation to 
the headship of the Court, the proceedings of the Scottish 
Parliament were delayed by a dispute among the nobles 
relative to the precedency in bearing the honours. It was 
ultimately arranged that Lennox should carry the crown, 
Argyll the sceptre, and Morton the sword ; and that, in the 

* Bookfl of Sederunt. 

' The King's occa»ional presence is indicated on the margin of the record by 
the words " Rege preienUJ* 


absence of Chancellor Maitland, his place should be filled 
and the business conducted by President Seton. Among 
the first acts of the Parliament were Bothwell's forfeiture 
and a confirmation of the Queen's jointure ; while the Kirk 
was conciliated by the passing of an Act exempting minis- 
ters' stipends from taxation, and a Statute against the Mass. 
The death of Chancellor Maitland at Thirlstane, towards 
the end of the year 1595, was followed by a period of 
considerable excitement; and the embarrassment of the 
national finances induced the King to dismiss the various 
officials by whom they were controlled, and to commit 
the management of his revenues to the Queen's favourite 
councillors. These were President Seton and three of his 
colleagues on the bench — ^viz., John Lindsay, " Parson of 
Menmuir," James Elphinstone, afterwards Lord Balmerino, 
and Thomas Hamilton, afterwards Earl of Haddington, of 
whom the two last ultimately occupied the President's 
chair. Owing to the laborious nature of the duties with 
which they were intrusted, it was soon found necessary to 
associate four others with them in the persons of Walter 
Stewart, Prior of Blantyre, Sir John Skene, Lord Clerk 
Kegister, Sir David Carnegie of Colluthie, and Peter Young, 
Master Almoner. They held daily meetings in the Tol- 
booth, acting without salary, and in allusion to their 
number were called the Octavians. " This change," says 
Calderwood,^ "portended a great alteration in the Kirk; 

* History of tlie Kirk of Scotland, of whicli the best edition, in eight vols. 
8vo, was issued by the Wodrow Society in 1841-49— a work which Bishop 
Nicolson, in his Scottish Historical Library, describes as being "in high 
esteem with the men of its author's principles." 


for some of their number was suspected of Papistrie." 
Vested with almost unlimited powers, by their vigorous 
and judicious arrangements, they soon gave promise of a 
thorough reform of all financial abuses; and "there was 
now exhibited, for the first time in Scotland, a ministry 
selected upon principles approaching to those which dictate 
the construction of a British Cabinet in modem times." * 

Towards the end of August 1596, the King summoned a 
Convention of the Estates to Falkland. Calderwood alleges 
that the laymen who attended were friends and favourers 
of the excommunicated Earls, and that the ministers cited 
were "suche as the King could dresse for his purpose." 
" Alexander Setoun," he says, " then President of the Ses- 
sioun, afterward Chanceller, made a prepared harangue, to 
perswade the King and Estats to call home these erles, least, 
lyke Coriolanus the Eoman, or Themistocles the Athenian, 
they soulde joyne with the enemeis, and creat an unresist- 
able danger to the estat of the countrie." ^ 

Shortly after the Octavians entered upon their duties, 
the Ki.g discharged the Comnu^ioners of the Kirk fro« 
holding any further meetings, in consequence of certain 
recent acts of insubordination in connection with the high- 
handed conduct of David Black, one of the ministers of St 
Andrews, who was ultimately found guilty of treason. 
Upon this they sent an angry message to the Octavians, 
holding them responsible for invading the privileges of the 
Kirk. This charge was indignantly repelled by President 

^ Life of King James, i. 217. 

« See also Mr James MelviUe^s Diary, p. 243 (Ban. Club, 1829). 


Seton, from whom the Commissioners repaired to the King, 
who made a fruitless endeavour to avoid recourse to ex- 
treme measures, while Seton strongly urged the propriety 
of some punishment following the sentence pronounced 
upon Black. This notorious minister had proclaimed from 
the pulpit that the Queen of England was an atheist ; that 
the religion professed in that kingdom was nothing better 
than an empty show ; and that, not content with the 
pageant at home, the bishops were persuading the King to 
set it up in Scotland. As for the King, he alleged that 
none knew better than he did of the intended return of 
the Popish Lords. " But what could they look for ? " he 
continued. " Was not Satan at the head of both court 
and council ? Were not all kings devil's bairns ? Was not 
Satan in the court, in the guiders of the court, in the head 
of the court ? Were not the Lords of Session miscreants 
and bribers; the Council cormorants, false, godless, and 
degenerate ; and the Queen of Scotland a woman whom, 
for fashion's sake, they might pray for, but in whose time 
it was in vain to hope for good?" 

On the 20th of October 1596, the Commissioners of the 
Kirk ordained President Seton to be summoned before the 
Synod of Lothian, on the 2d of November, " for dealing in 
favours of the Erie of Huntlie." One of the ordinary 
clerks of the Session "compeered" before the Commis- 
sioners, showing that two of the senators and two advocates 
desired to have a conference with certain of the brethren. 
On this being granted, it was reported to the Commis- 
sioners " that the saids lords compleaned of the summon- 


ing of the President of their Sessioun, and with mania 
arguments travelled to move the said Conmiissioners and 
Sjmod conveened to superseed the calling of the said smn- 
mons. At last they obteaned that so sould be, if the said 
President would present himself before the Synod of his 
owne accord. The which he did ; and being by the Sjmod 
remitted to the said Conmiissioners, came before them on 
the mome, and purged himself verie largelie of anie dealing 
for the Erie of Huntlie." After many protracted overtures, 
the Kirk and the Crown became more hostile to each other 
than before, and the dominant party in the fonner resolved 
to destroy the government of the Octavians. In the course 
of the well-known Edinburgh riot, which took place during 
the following December, a violent scene occurred at the 
Tolbooth,^ where the King was sitting with his Privy Coun- 
cil, while the judges of the Session were assembled in the 
lower house. The excited populace battered the doors with 
axes and other weapons, calling for the surrender of the 
President, Elphinstone, and Hamilton, as the abusers of the 
Kirk and King. When the tumult had been appeased by 
the intervention of the Provost (Sir Alexander Hume), the 
Earl of Mar was sent by the King to remonstrate with the 
ministers, who, among other proposals, urged that the 

^ The Tolbooth, or " Pretorium," a lofty, antique, gloomy-looking edifice, of 
which engravings wiU be fonnd in the weU-known works of Chambers and 
Wilson, stood at the north-west comer of St Gileses Church, in the centre of a 
crowded thoroughfare. Besides being used as a prison, it was the place where 
the Scottish Parliament met, and where the Court of Session held its sittings. 
It was demolished in 1817, and the site is now marked by a figure on the pave- 
ment, indicative of the " Heart of Mid-Lothian." The Canongate Tolbooth, 
erected in 1591 for the confinement of debtors, still exists in good preservation. 


President, Comptroller, and Advocate "be not admitted 
to sit in Council, at least when the cause of religion and 
matters of the Church are treated, seeing they are enemies 
to the quietness thereof, and have by their devices raised 
the troubles that presentlie do vex the same." As an indi- 
cation of his displeasure, the King threatened to remove 
the Lords of Session and other officers of justice from the 
metropolis ; but the Kirk party was not to be intimidated, 
and they made a serious proposal for the excommunication 
of President Seton, and Hamilton, the Lord Advocate, 
which, however, was deferred for the consideration of the 
General Assembly. Meanwhile, with the view of popular- 
ising his contemplated ecclesiastical innovations, the King 
accepted the resignation of the Octaviaris, which appears to 
have been regarded by the ministers and the " godly lords " 
as a conciliatory act. On the other hand, the triumph of 
the Crown over the Kirk was illustrated by the humbled 
metropolis being compelled to elect the President to the 
office of Provost for ten successive years (1598-1608).^ 

The bitter animosity entertained, in certain quarters, 
towards Seton and some of his colleagues, is exhibited in 
the following curious extract from Calderwood's MS.: — 

" Upon the same Mounday, (viz : 1 January 1597,) at night, 
ther was a letter conveyed in to ye King after this maener : John 
Boge M' Porter standing at y® gate of y® palace att five hours at 
night in y® twilight, y^ come to him one, and said, ' Sir, I have 
mett with you weill, for I was seeking you, for I have a letter 
unto you from y* minister of Kilconquhar in Fife, who as yee 

1 Maitland's History of Edinburgh, p. 226. See Chapter IV. 


know is heavily vexed for the king's sake, and deprived of his 
oflBce. He hath sent me unto you with this letter unto your- 
self, w®^ yee sail read and deliver it unto the King's ma : that y* 
King may know more then he knoweth, and I sail come to you 
y® mome and seek ane answer : ' John Boge received ye letter 
and his own, presented ye oy' when y* King was going to his 
super. The Eling opened it immediately and read it, but raged 
soe that he could not eat noe meat that night for anger ; the tener 

of y** letter heer followeth 

. . . The second fountain ground and motive of this storme, 
the default of your unhappie counsellors that are presentlie about 
you, who once after they had come to pTeierment per fas et nefas, 
secreatly, directly, or indirectly have sought y^ own standing 
without care or conscience of the weall of anie man whatsomever, 
whose unfamous names I am sure sail remaine to all posterity 
and age to y'^ ignominie. I mean that Romanist President, a 
shaveling and a priest, more meet to say masse in Salamanca, nor 
to beare office in Christian and reformed Commonwealls; Mr 
John Lindsay, a plaine mocker of religion; Mr James Elphin- 
stoun, a greedie and covetous man, a priest without good religion 
or conscience, as his godlesse doings can testifie, and the enter- 
tainment of y* excommunicated forfaulted bloody trater Huntlie 
in his house ; and Mr Thomas Hamilton, brought up in Parish, 
[Paris,] with y* apostat Mr John Hamilton, and men say the 
dregs of stinking Roman profession stick fast in his ribbes, and 
alas. Sir, it is to be lamented that ever such a Prince to whom 
God has given soe manie notable gifts of knowledge, sould sufer 
your self to be lead with such four malicious counsellers, whose 
attempt I hope yee sail curse one day, these men seeing your 
ma®* inclination which is ever inconstant in good purposes, 
accompt you as a facile one, and they seeing the ministers sore in 
rebuking sine in whosoever, concluded y' standing and security 
to be in casting the whole policie as weel civil as ecclesiasticall 
lawes, for. Sir, in judgment, justice is bought and sold, as I could 
prove be sundrie instances, and the ecclesiasticall policie is soe 

« a-rr A -nnm- r^rr^ a xttx -nnr-ncim >> 


far persecuted that without great danger nather can pastors dis- 
charge y' spiritual oflSces, nor professors concurr. And, Sir, I 
pray your ma. consider y* degrees of thir mens preferment. First, 
they wer admitted upon y* Session. Secondly, to be handlers of 
her majesties living. Thirdly, to y* administration of y® whole 
common weall, V*, how it is guided, lett God and every honest 
man record : alwise for thir men, we say the Lord reward them 
according to y' werks, and meet them according to ther demerits, 
sed enim pcUUur jtistvs" 

It does not appear whether the bearer of the extraor- 
dinary phiUppic ventured to return to Holyrood for an 
answer on " y« mome." The tone of the conimunieation 
was not particularly well calculated to insure a favourable 
response, even from " a Prince to whom God had given see 
manie notable gifts of knowledge;" and the "four malicious 
counsellors" continued to retain the confidence of their 
sovereign. The elegant allusions to their religious proclivi- 
ties are quite in keeping with the sentiments of a certain 
section of the so-called historians of the period; and I 
shall afterwards have occasion to refer to the supposed 
papistical tendencies of the " shaveling and priest," who is 
pronounced by the minister of Kilconquhar to be ** more 
meet to say masse in Salamanca, nor to beare office in Chris- 
tian and reformed Commonwealls." Had the minister been 
a genealogist, he would probably have bracketed him with 
Elphinstone in the charge of entertaining the "bloody trater 
Huntlie," who happened to be a kinsman of the " Romanist 

The minister of Kilconquhar at the period in question 
was a certain John Rutherford, who was "laureated" at 



the University of St Andrews in 1582, and had been trans- 
lated from the second charge of Cupar in 1594. From a 
visitation held towards the end of the following year, it 
appears that "sen his coming thair, he never had ony 
examination nor particular catechising vpon the grundis 
of religion. The Supper of the Lord was never yet min- 
istered sen his entry. He had no exercise on the Sabbath 
afternone, albeit the parish be populous, and their be a 
toun wher the kirk standis, quhilk wold furnish sufficient 
auditorie, whereby it cumis to pass, that because of no 
exercise in the kirk, the Sabbothis afternone is often tymis 
spent be them of Kilconwhere in playing, drinking, and sic 
vther prophane exercises." Besides other serious charges, 
it further appears that "his indiscreit conduct gifes occa- 
sioun of farder alienatioun of myndis," and that " he was 
becum wein (vain) and louse in his behaviour and speiches 
at gentilmans tabillis, ane brawler and boster to the grit 
sclander of his professioun, and hindraiice of ony grouth of 
Chrystis EvangeU teachit be him thair." He afterwards 
confessed that he was the "penner" of an infamous and 
godless libel entitled *The heade of Blackerie doctrin 
resoluit in a Eemist method " — ^the said libel being a paper 
written to " ease his mind " against Mr David Bla<5k, min- 
ister of St Andrews, who had inveighed, in the Pres- 
bytery, against Rutherford's non- residence and doctrine. 
After further procedure in the Church Courts, he was 
"released" on the 1st of June 1603, and betook himself 
to the profession of medicine.^ Such was the character 

^ Scott's Fasti Ecclesias Scoticonse, ii. 435. 



and conduct of the reverend author of the epistle addressed 
to the Scottish monarch respecting his four "malicious 
counsellors " ! 

Little more than a year after the arrival of the Kilcon- 
quhar fulmination, Seton gave a spirited proof of his inde- 
pendence as a judge, by vindicating the rights of Mr Kobert 
Bruce, a celebrated minister of the Kirk, in opposition to 
the wishes of his royal master ; and, as might have been 
expected, we find the briefest possible account of the 
occurrence in the circumstantial history of Calderwood. 
Having been deprived of his stipend by the king, Bruce 
sued the Crown in the Court of Session, and obtained a 
decision in his favour. The disappointed monarch appealed 
to the Court in person, pleaded his own cause, and com- 
manded the senators to pronounce judgment against Bruce. 
The scene is graphically described by Tytler in his ' History 
of Scotland.' ^ 

" The President Seton," he says, " then rose : ' My liege/ said 
he, ' it is my part to speak first in this Court, of which your 
Highness has made me head. You are our King ; we, your sub- 
jects, bound and ready to obey you from the heart, and, with all 
devotion, to serve you with our lives and substance : but this is 
a matter of law, in which we are sworn to do justice according 
to our conscience and the statutes of the realm. Your Majesty 
may, indeed, command us to the contrary ; in which case I and 
every honest man on this bench will either vote according to 
conscience, or resign and not vote at all." Another of the judges, 
Lord Newbattle,^ then rose, and observed, 'That it had been 

1 Vol ix. p. 290. 

* Mark Kerr, an Extraordinary Lord, created Earl of Lothian in 1606, ancestor 


spoken in the city, to his Majesty's great slander, and theirs who 
were his judges, that they dared not do justice to all classes, but 
were compelled to vote as the King commanded : a foul imputa- 
tion, to which the lie that day should be given ; for they would 
now deliver a unanimous opinion against the Crown.' For this 
brave and dignified conduct James was unprepared ; and he pro- 
ceeded to reason long and earnestly with the recusants : but per- 
suasions, arguments, taunts, and threats, were unavailing. The 
judges, with only two dissentient votes, pronounced their decision 
in favour of Mr Robert Bruce ; and the mortified monarch flung 
out of Court, as a letter of the day informs us, muttering revenge, 
and raging marvellously." ^ 

As the historian justly observes, " When the subservient 
temper of the times is considered, and we remember 
that Seton, the President, was a Roman Catholic, whilst 
Bruce, in whose favour he and his brethren decided, was 
a chief leader of the Presbyterian ministers,^ it would be 

of the present Marquess of Lothian. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor, in the 
absence of the Earl of Dunfermline, 9th October 1604. 

1 MS. Letter, State Paper Office, Nicolson to Cecil, 16th March 1598-9. 

' Robert Bruce was the second son of Alexander Bruce of Airth, by Janet, 
daughter of Alexander, fifth Lord Livingstone, and was accordingly a collateral 
kinsman of his illustrious namesake, the hero of Bannockbum. His descen- 
dant, in the sixth generation, was James Bruce, the Abyssinian traveller. 
Bom about 1656, he was, in the strictest sense, a contemporary of President 
Seton. Next to Andrew Melville, Bruce had probably the greatest influ- 
ence in the Kirk, and took a very prominent part in ecclesiastical affairs during 
the reign of James VI., who regarded him with mixed feelings of respect and 
fear. At the coronation of Anne of Denmark, in May 1590, Bruce had the 
honour of anointing her Majesty with oil — " not, however, as a religious rite, 
but as a civil ceremony.'' Less violent than Melville, and more enlightened 
than Knox, he has been described as viewing the united interests of the Church 
and the nation with a milder eye than either of these Reformers ; and is gener- 
ally regarded as having been instrumental, more than any other man, in pro- 
curing the Act of 1592 — the great charter of the rights and privileges of the 


unjust to withhold our admiration from a judge and a 
Court which had the courage thus fearlessly to assert the 
supremacy of the law." 

'^ Sooner the inside of thy hand shall grow 
HjspM and hairie, ere thy palm shall know 
A poetem-bribe tooke, or a forked fee, 
To fetter justice, when she might be free." 

Among the Balcarres papers (vol. vi.) in the Advocates' 
Library, is an undated letter of President Seton's, appa- 
rently addressed to John Lindsay of Balcarres, Lord Men- 
muir, and Secretary of State. It is written, on a folio 
sheet, below a holograph letter from the King, which is 
endorsed " His Maiestie to the President, anent siluer to 
the Colonel to paa to Kintyre, 1596." The " Ylis voiage" 
referred to by the King is probably the expedition pro- 
jected to the Western Islands in the year indicated in the 
endorsement.! Although the King was thirty years of age 
at the date of the letter, the handwriting is somewhat 
juvenile in its character — almost approaching to printing 
— ^and consequently very legible ; while that of the Presi- 
dent is free and flowing, and evidently of rapid formation. 
As both of the letters are very short, I do not hesitate 
to introduce them. 

Church of Scotland. Sixteen of his sermons — in the genuine Scotch of the 
sixteenth century, and characterised by boldness of expression and force of 
argument — were published in 1590 and 1591. An English translation appeared 
in 1617 ; while the latest edition, with Bruce's life by Wodrow, was printed for 
the Wodrow Society, in 1843, from the MS. in the library of the University of 
Glasgow, under the editorship of the Rev. Dr Cunningham. Bruce died on the 
13th of August 1631, about seventy-five years of age. 
^ See Qregory's Highlands and Isles of Scotland, p. 264. 


(1.) The King to President Setan. 

" President, The rest of the siluer for the Tlis voiage is found 
out, and thay that hes it desyres you, and the Secretaire, and 
Maister James Elphistoune, to be goode for it ; ye see hou farr 
this tume concemis my honoure and weill, and hou, for the caire I 
hadd for that earande, I came to Edinburgh myself, thairfor, I pray 
you haiste youre tikket to the Secretaire with this bearare, that the 
partie that deliures it maye be sure to be payed againe ; for gif this 
siluer be not in Dounbretaine at the colonaU, other mome at the 
farthest, this haiU tume vill spill, quhilke I ame sure ye will not 
suffer throu your defaulte. Fairweill. James R" 

(2.) President Seton to Secretary Lindsay, 

"Your Lordship may persaue heirby the King's Maiestie 
earnestness in this honorable tume, and your lordship knawis my 
minde, quhasoeuer fumesis the silver, lett his securitie be deuisit 
and agreit on be your lordship, and I sail subscriue the same, so 
soon as your lordship sail send it to me, sence your lordship is in 
Edin'-, yie may tak the penes to see the sewrtie formit for us, in 
cace M'- James Elphinstoune be not thair. I think your lordships 
band and mine may serue for this suflBcientlie, for onye off us 
Weill have mair geir and credit nor this samyn, and I dout na 
thing but we sail get our releiff, — Your lordships bmther at 
command, Seton Vrquhart." 

A curious little volume, published at Edinburgh in 1599, 
entitled, * A Newe Treatise of the right reckoning of Yeares, 
and Ages of the World,' etc., by M. Eobert Pont,^ an aged 

* Robert Pont, son of John Pont of Shyres-mill, in the parish of Culroes, was 
appointed to the first charge of St Cuthbert's in 1578, having been previously 
minister of various other parishes. Five times Moderator of the General As- 
sembly, he became Provost of Trinity College in 1571, and the year following 
was appointed a Lord of Session ; but in terms of the Act of 1584, he was de- 
prived of his seat on the Bench. In 1601, he was selected by the General As- 

font's **newe treatise." 39 

Pastour in the Kirk of Scotland, contains the following 
laudatory Dedication to President Seton : — 

"To the Right Eeverende Noble Lord, Alexander Sejrton, L. 
Vrquhard and Fyvie, President in the Senate of Justice, 
and Provest of Edinburgh, etc. All health and felicitie 
in Christ 

" Your Lordshippes gentle humanitie toward all honeste and 
well-hearted men, and namely, towards me, since my first ac- 
quaintance, hath mooved mee to dedicate to your honour this 
parte of the fruite of my studies, knowing that, amongst the rare 
Maecenases of this Land, your name is with the highest ranke 
vnder his Maiestie to be mentioned. The first cause (I confesse) 
that mooved mee to publish this Treatise in our English tongue, 
was to disswade the too curious conceites of certaine men, desirous 
to be at Eome this approching 1600 yoare, commonly called a 
year of lubilee, wherof they shuld receiue no profit, but rather 
damage, with losse of time and expenses. For your L. knows ' 
wel ynough the maners of Eome, and (as I am perswaded) allowes 
not of that pompose superstition : yet if your L. wil take paines 
(not being fashed with more weighty matters) to reade this whole 
discourse, I trust you shall finde other heads, whereof you shal 
like verie well, that haue troubled the heades of learned men, and 
not bene so exactly found out. Wishing your L. to accept of 
this smal token of my good fauor towards your honor, and to 
accept of me amongst the clientele of your friendship, wherfore 
God-willing, ye shall not finde me vnworthie. To whose al- 
mightie protection I commit your L. This last of October 1599. 
— Your L. ever ready to power in God, Egbert Pont." 

sembly to revise the new metrical translation of the Psalms, and was shortly 
afterwards " releivit from the ordinarie bunlein of teaching," in respect of his 
great age and long services in the Kirk. He was the first to salute James VI. 
on his elevation to the English throne, and died in 1606 in his 82d year. 
His son Timothy, minister of Diinnet, was the first projector of a Survey of 

40 "reverend" and ''namely." 

The mode in which the President is designed affords 
an interesting example of the application of the term 
" Eeverend " to a layman ; while the writer of the Treatise, 
although a clergyman, simply describes himself on his 
title-page as "M." or Magister. The word "namely" is 
used in a somewhat peculiar sense at the beginning of the 
Dedication, being apparently equivalent to notably or es- 
jyecially. As in a later Dedication by a much more 
illustrious man, the President is referred to as the first 
among the Maecenases of Scotland, and only second to 
the King himself. The allusion to Seton's familiarity 
with the manners of Eome, and the learned author's very' 
pointed statement as to his disapproval of her " pompose 
superstition," may be regarded as at least a qualification 
of the allegations of other more prejudiced writers respect- 
ing the President's Popish tendencies. Lastly, the author's 
indirect compliment to himself is not a little quaint — ^the 
subject of his discourse having troubled the heads of 
learned men, without, however, having been "so exactly 
found out" as by himself! 





TN the summer of the year 1600,^ President Seton furnished 
■*• a second illustration of his independent character. In 
anticipation of the death of Queen Elizabeth, the thoughts 
of the Scottish monarch had for some time been engrossed 
by the idea of raising a formidable force, with th(3 view 
of maintaining his title to the English crown. This, of 
course, implied the provision of " ways and means ; " and, 
at the Convention of the Estates, the King delivered an ela- 
borate harangue upon the subject. Although supported by 

* The last year of the sixteenth century in Scotland (1600) is remarkable for 
the change then made in the mode of computing time. Hitherto, the year had 
been calculated as beginning on the 25th of March, in accordance with very 
ancient practice ; and hence the frequent confusion in the relation of his- 
torical transactions that happened in January, February, and the first twenty- 
five days of March, which period ought to be referred to as belonging to two 
consecutive years — e,g,, 1598-9. An Act was passed in 1599, which provides 
that, in aU time coming, " the first day of the year is to begin upon the first 
day of January;" and the year 1600 was opened in conformity with that 


the majority of the higher nobility and prelates, the royal 
proposal was stoutly resisted by the barons and the burghs, 
who resolutely adhered to their opposition, at an adjourned 
meeting of the Convention. In reply to an assertion by 
the King that it was indispensable for him to have an 
army in readiness for the expected event, Seton strongly 
argued against the folly of endeavouring to seize the 
English throne by force, dwelling upon the vast cost of 
a suitable expedition and the improbability of the nation 
being able to provide the requisite sum. The King violently 
accused the President of perverting his meaning ; but his 
temper was somewhat appeased when he found his views 
supported by Mr Edward Bruce,^ who appealed to the 
loyalty of his countrjrmen, and foretold the dangers that 
would ensue from a failure to comply with the sovereign's 
proposal. Backed by the countenance of the youthful Earl 
of Gowrie, the opinions of the opposition ultimately pre- 
vailed ; and, notwithstanding the undisguised mortification 
of the King, the result occasioned all but universal satis- 
faction throughout the country. 

The young nobleman to whom I have just referred 
was, not many weeks afterwards, a prominent figure in 
the tragic and mysterious occurrence which took place, 
on the 5th of August 1600, in the city of Perth or St 
Johnstown. The details of the " Gowrie Conspiracy " are 
too well known to require even the briefest recapitulation, 
but the annexed tabular pedigree may be of service to any 

^ Abbot of Kinloss and a Senator of the College of Justice, created Lord 
Bruce of Kinloss in 1602 — ancestor of the Earl of Elgin. 



reader who happens to be specially interested in the history 
of the family of Ruthven : — 



2d Earl of 


Restored to 

the estate 

and honours 

in 1586. 

Died 1588, 

set 14. 

Patrick, 8d Lord Ruth von (14 th of the family on record). 

The principal actor in Rizzio's murder, 9th March 1566. 

Died three months afterwards. 

William, 4th Lord Ruthven. 

One of the Lords who compelled Queen Mary to 

resign the Crown at Lochleven in 1567. 

1581. Created Earl of Gowrie. 

1582. The chief actor in the ** Raid of Ruthven." 
1584. Executed at Stirling for high treason. 


8d Earl of 



Master of 


Killed at Perth, 5th August 

famous for 
his know- 
ledge of 


an eminent 


I I I I I I I 

7 daughters, 
of whom the 
eldest. Lady 
Margaret, m. 
James, 4th 
Earl of Mon- 
trose, and was 
mother of the 
1st Marquess. 

Sir Anthony Vandyke, = Mary Ruthven.* 
the celebrated 

Sir John Stepney, ^Justinia Vandyke, 
Bart. died 1688. 

♦ Mary, Lady Vandyke, eventually became heiress of her paternal grandfather, and 
carried the representation of the Ruthvens into the English family of Stepney. 

A full and satisfactory r6sxi7n6 of all the attendant 
circumstances is given by the latest historian of Scot- 
land, Dr Hill Burton,^ from whose conclusions probably 
few intelligent persons will venture to diflfer. He con- 
siders that "there hardly can be named a crime or act 
of violence as to which there stands on record so minute 
and full an examination as there is of * the Gowrie Con- 

* History of Scotland, chapter Ixi. 


spiracy/ . . • The theory that the whole was a plot 
of the Court to ruin the powerful house of Gowrie, must 
at once, after a calm weighing of the evidence, be dis- 
missed as beyond the range of sane conclusions. . . . 
It shows, however, how deep a root this view had taken 
in the county where the Ruthvens held rule, that, within 
the present century, Perth has produced three books, 
written to prove that the Gowrie Conspiracy was planned 
by King James for the ruin of the house of Gowrie." ^ In 
alluding to the subsequent discovery of the correspondence 
between the Ruthvens and Robert Logan of Restalrig, the 
same author states that it was not until eight years after- 
wards (1608) that the affair could properly be called a con- 
spiracy, by evidence that its plan was prearranged, and 
that others had taken part in it besides the two slain 
brothers. " It may be well," he adds, " to keep in mind 
that the two Ruthvens were young men — ^the Earl twenty- 
four and the Master nineteen years old — ^and that they had 
vast power. Seizing upon or kidnapping a king had in that 
day become almost a constitutional method of effecting a 
change of ministry in Scotland. The father of. the young 
men had effective possession of King James, and the mad- 
cap Bothwell had very nearly accomplished the same good 

^ Calderwood plainly hints at the same view of the transaction. " Upon the 
fyft of August," he says, " Johne Ruthven, Erie of Gowrie, and his brother Mr 
Alexander, were slaine at Perth in his owne loodging, for attempting a con- 
spiracie against the King, as was alledged, but not beleeved by manie." Again, 
in the metropolis, the favourite minister, Robert Bruce, and four others, were 
banished, and forbidden on pain of death to preach, or come within ten miles 
of the King's residence, on account of their scepticism as to the reality of the 


fortune. Then they had the death of their father to avenge, 
in an age when vengeance was usurped by men, and became 
a duty: it was said that gratitude for their restoration 
should have cancelled the injury to be avenged, but their 
gratitude was not earned by the King/' ^ The King's 
miraculous escape from the dastardly attempt upon his life 
appears to have elicited an outburst of joy on the part of 
aU classes of his subjects, and the 5th of August was ap- 
pointed by the Estates as a day of public thanksgiving.^ 
The dead bodies of Gowrie and his brother were brought 
from Perth to Edinburgh, and hung up at the cross as the 
bodies of traitors, being afterwards beheaded and dismem- 
bered on the same day (19th November) that Prince Charles 
—afterwards Charles I. — ^was bom at Dunfermline. 

Only three days previously, the dignity of Earl of Win- 
ton had been conferred upon Eobert, eighth Lord Seton, 
the eldest brother of the President, on account of his 
faithful services, and those of his ancestors, to the House 
of Stuart. This was the first Scottish patent of Peerage, 

* Dp Burton expresses very natural regret at the demolition of the pictu- 
resque old mansion-house rendered memorable by the Gowrie Conspiracy, and 
refers to Pennant's description of it as it appeared about a century ago. The 
author of this Memoir is fortunate enough to possess an admirable water-colour 
sketch of Perth as in 1790, by J. Donaldson, in which Gowrie House consti- 
tutes the most prominent feature. 

^ The following is Galderwood's notice of the anniversary of the King's 
escape, in the year 1607 : " The fyft of August was solemnlie keeped in Edin- 
burgh. The King's skoll [heaUh] was drunkin by the duke his commissioner, 
and some other noblemen, at the croce of Edinburgh, w^ was covered for 
the greater solemnitie. Bacchus was sett up, and muclie wine drunkin, and 
iweete meats cast abroad ; muche vanitie and pastyme, beside ringing of bells, 
and setting on of balefires." 


and the only one granted by the King before his accession 
to the English throne, its phraseology being borrowed fix)m 
the south side of the Tweed. It refers to the symbolical 
act of investiture called Belting, or cinctura glaxUi^ which, 
contrary to the ordinary practice, had preceded the issue of 
the patent, the ceremony having been performed with great 
solemnity at Holyrood, accompanied by the usual creation 
of knights.^ Nisbet alludes to the " coat of augmentation " 
granted on the same occasion, as the earliest example of 
that heraldic honour — ^viz., azure, a blazing star of ten 
points, within a double tressure, flowered and counter- 
flowered or, with the motto Intaminatis fulget honorihus, 
"to show the constant loyalty and heroic virtue of the 
family." ^ 

The long reign of turbulence which appeared to Culmi- 
nate in the GU)wrie Conspiracy was followed by a period of 
imwonted peace on the Scottish side of the Border. Family 
feuds, of long standing, in many instances came to an end, 
the formal reconciliation of Himtly and Argyle being prob- 
ably the most remarkable example. The age and infirmity 
of the " Virgin Queen " had naturally suggested the ques- 
tion of the royal succession, and numerous conferences on 
the subject were held between the younger Cecil* and am- 
bassadors from Scotland as early as the commencement of 

* See an interesting paper on " Titles of Nobility in Scotland " in the Journal 
of Jurisprudence for November 1881 (vol. xxv. p. 668.) 

* System of Heraldry, ii. 64. 

* Robert Cecil, youngest son of William, Lord Burghley, and founder of the 
Salisbury branch of the family, succeeded his father in power, on his death in 


the year 1601. The right of the Scottish monarch to the 
English crown was by no means universally acknowledged. 
As an alien, he had already been debarred from succeeding 
to the English estates of his paternal grandfather, the Earl 
of Lennox, and learned lawyers did not hesitate to hold 
that the rule which regulated the succession to a part 
of the kingdom must equally regulate the succession to 
the whole. The great-grandson of Mary Tudor by her 
first marriage to James IV. of Scotland, he was unquestion- 
ably nearest in blood, and the genealogical doubts which 
prevailed during the wars of the Roses were no longer 
entertained. If James VI. had been passed over as an 
alien, the succession would have opened to Arabella Stuart, 
the lineal descendant of Mary Tudor's second marriage to 
the Earl of Angus ; but the prospect of a peaceful union of 
the two great divisions of the island, under one head, suf- 
ficed to extinguish the alleged legal obstacle. To use the 
language of Dr Burton, " the clearness of the genealogical 
claim, and the blessings to be accomplished by its realisa- 
tion, together took gradual hold of the practical English 
mind. The doctrine of the common -lawyers was buried 
in the general approval of the nation. Right or wrong, 
according to technical logic, King James was to be the 
accepted King of England." 

Queen Elizabeth breathed her last on the morning of 
Thursday, the 24th of March 1603, declaring before her 
departure that James the Sixth of Scotland should succeed 
to her in all her kingdoms. Late on Saturday night. Sir 
Robert Carey, son of Lord Hunsdon, galloped into the 


quadrangle of Holyrood, to announce the important event 
— a wonderful feat of despatch for the commencement of 
the seventeenth century. 

" The King," he states, " was newly gone to bed by the time I 
knocked at the gate. I was quickly let in and carried up to the 
King's chamber. I kneeled by him, and saluted him by the title 
of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland. Hee gave mee his 
hand to kisse, and bade me welcoma After he had long dis- 
coursed of the manner of the Queen's sicknesse and of her death, 
he asked what letters I had from the Councill? I told him 
none, and acquainted him how narrowly I escaped from them, 
and yet I had brought him a blue ring from a fair lady ^ that I 
hoped w^ give him assurance of the truth that I reported. He 
tooke it, and looked upon it, and said : ' It is enough, I know by 
this you are a true messenger.* " 

The Queen's death was formally intimated by the Lords 
of the Council on the 25th of March, and on the 5th 
of April, King James left Edinburgh with a numerous 
retinue. By a curious coincidence, when little more than 
ten miles from the Scottish metropolis, he happened to en- 
counter the funeral procession of the Earl of Winton, eldest 
brother of President Seton. The episode is thus described 
by Tytler, in the last page of his ' History of Scotland ' : — 

''As the monarch passed the house of Seton, near Mussel- 
burgh, he was met by the funeral of the Earl of Winton, a 
nobleman of high rank ; which, with its solemn movement and 

* The " fair lady " here referred to was Carey's sister, Lady Scroope, to whom 
the King, some time before, had sent a sapphire ring, which was to be returned 
by a special messenger as a token of the Queen's death. Carey was created 
Earl of Monmouth in 1626.— See Addendum after last chapter. 


sable trappings, occupied the road, and contrasted strangely and 
gloomily with the brilliant pageantry of the royal cavalcade. 
The Setons were one of the oldest and proudest families of Scot- 
land, and (the father of) that Lord, whose mortal remains now 
passed by, had been a faithful adherent of the King's mother ; 
whose banner he had never deserted, and in whose cause he had 
suffered exile and proscription. The meeting was thought omi- 
nous by the people. It appeared, to their excited imaginations, 
as if the moment had arrived when the aristocracy of Scotland 
was about to merge in that of Great Britain ; as if the Scottish 
nobles had finished their career of national glory, and this last 
representative of their race had been arrested on his road to the 
grave, to bid farewell to the last of Scotland's kings. As the 
mourners moved slowly onward, the monarch himself, partici- 
pating in these melancholy feelings, sat down by the wayside, on 
a stone still pointed out to the historical pilgrim; nor did he 
resume his progress till the gloomy procession had completely 
disappeared." ^ 

* Tlie following entry occurs in the Haddington Presbytery Records, imder 
the date of 16th March 1603 : " Ane note maid of Mr Rol)*- Wallace liis confer- 
ence with my L^ Setoun — ^he being sent for by my Lord President for visita- 
tion of his Lordship now in his present extreme soiknes — quherein y^ P^ find 
he dischargit ane honest pastoral dcwtie, in visiting comforting and attending 
on his Lordship. The Presby also thinking it a part belonging to yair duty, 
takes occasioun to visit his Lop., by a conmiittee of yair number, both anent his 
own personal estait — especially concerning y® disposition of his soul and con- 
science towards God — and his religioun; and agree to go to him on Monday first.'* 

It will be observed that the Earl of Winton is erroneously described by his 
former title of Lord Seton. Mr Rol>ert Wallace, previously of St Andrews and 
Glenluce, was appointcrl minister of Tmnent in 1602, and waite<l on the King 
at Haddington, on the ocaision of liis journey to London in April 1603. He 
was one of the forty -two ministers who signe<l the protest to Parliament 
against the introduction of Episcopacy in 1606 ; and in 1617 die<l of grief at 
the prospect of changes in the Church, lamenting the fate of Calderwood. — 
See Scott's Fasti, i. 358. Numerous other entries relative to the suppose<l 
Popish tendencies of the Seton family, etc., appear in the same records during 
the fifteen preceding years. 



The royal route waB by way of Berwick, Newcastle, Dur- 
ham, York, Doncaster, Newark, and Theobalds, the noblemen 
and gentry of every county convoying the King through 
their several shires. On the 7th of May his Majesty 
entered London, having been met at Stamford Hill by 
the Lord Mayor, the Aldermen, and five hundred citizens, 
"all in chaines of gold and weill mounted." Notwith- 
standing the prevalence of the plague, the coronation was 
celebrated at Westminster with the accustomed rites, on 
the 25th of July, the sacred oil being poured upon the King 
and his consort by Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

The births of the three surviving children of James VI. 
occurred at the dates specified in the following statements : 

" Quene Anne, oure noble Princes, bure her first sone in the 
castell of Sterling upon Tyisday the 19th day of Febuar (1593-4), 
and he was baptesit in Sterling be the naymis of Henrie Frederik, 
and installit Prince of Carrick." 

"The 15 day of August (1596), the Queyne was delyverit of 
a ladie in Falkland, and baptesit be the nayme of Elizabeth." ^ 

" Due Charlis, the King's sone, was borne (at Dunfermline) the 
19th day of November (1600), and was bajrtesit the 23 of Decem- 
ber, and installit Due of Albanie, Marquise of Ormont, and Erie 
of Eosse." 

In the first edition of Sir Robert Douglas's * Peerage of 
Scotland,' it is stated that " upon the birth of Prince Henry, 
in 1593, President Seton was intrusted with his tuition till 

^ Other authorities make the date the nineteen^ of August, and the place 
Dunfermline, — See Henderson's Annals of Dunfennline, p. 731. The "First 
Dochtour of Scotland " was godchild of Queen Elizabeth. — See quaint passage 
at p. 127 of Moysie*s Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland. 


he went to England, anno 1603." The Prince is usually 
represented to have been committed to the care of the 
Earl of Mar, while President Seton undoubtedly had the 
charge of his younger brother Charles, afterwards Charles 
I. From the acknowledgment by the King, under the 
Great Seal, to the Earl of Mar, of his care and fidelity in 
the tuition of Prince Henry, dated 28th June 1603,^ it 
appears that the young Prince was intrusted to Lord Mar 
"in the year of our Lord 1596;" and accordingly, it is 
quite possible that, during the first three years of his life, 
he may have been under the charge of President Seton. 
When the child was placed in the hands of Lord Mar, he 
was strictly enjoined, in the event of the King's death, not 
to deliver the Prince to the Queen or the Estates, till he 
had reached the age of eighteen years; and Lord Mar's 
cotmection with Prince Henry waa afterwards the cause of 
some disquietude between his royal parents, the Queen 
having the impression that Mar had charged her with 
"papiste or forrine practise." The Bang left Edinburgh 
inZ .vdden a m Jer that he had no opportunity of see- 
ing his children before his departure. He accordingly 
indited an epistle to his eldest son (then in his tenth 
year), which is preserved in the British Museum, and 
which contains some very excellent advice. In alluding 
to his own accession to the English throne, he counsels 
the young Prince not to be proud or insolent. 

" A King's Sonne and heire was ye before, and na maire are ye 
yett ; the augmentation that is heirby lyke to fall unto you, is 

* Crawford's Officers of State, Appendix, No. XXXI It^ 

52 LORD FYVIE's correspondence. 

but in caires and heavie burthens; . choose nane to 

be yair playe fellowis but thaime that are well borne . . . 
looke upon all Englishemen that shall cum to visite you as upon 
youre loving subjectis, not with that ceremonie as towardis 
straingeris, and yett with suche hartines as at this tyme they 

After alluding to his " booke laitlie prentid " — the * Basil- 
icon Doron/ — of which a copy accompanied the letter, 
he concludes by enjoining the Prince to be diligent in his 
studies and obedient to his master; "for in reuerencing 
him ye obeye me and honoure yourselfe." 

After the King took up his abode in the English metro- 
polis, Lord Fyvie's communications became very frequent, 
and almost invariably refer to matters of interest and im- 
portance. Probably one of the earliest of these is the 
letter which he addressed from Edinburgh to Sir Eobert 
Cecil, "Principall Secretair to his Ma**®* in the estate off 
Ingland," on the 5th of April 1603 — ^the very day on 
which the King left Edinburgh, and twelve days after 
the death of Queen Elizabeth.^ Eeferring as it does to 
the very recent change of circumstances effected by the 
union of the Scotch and English Crowns, the letter is 

* For this and other letters addressed by Lord Fyvie to Cecil, to be afterwards 
referred to, I am indebted to the courtesy of the Marquess of Salisbury (Cecil's 
distinguislied representative^ in whose valuable collection of MSS. at Hatfield 
the letters are preserved. So far as I am aware, none of them have hitherto 
been published. Most of Seton's other letters are from the interesting coUec- 
tions of Letters and State Papers during the reign of James the Sixth, and the 
State Papers and Miscellaneous Correspondence of Thomas, Earl of Melros 
(afterwards of Haddington), printed by the Abbotsford Club, and other com- 
paratively inaccessible sources. 


possessed of peculiar interest. Its tone and scope are 
highly creditable to the Lord President — ^for Lord Fyvie 
was still the head of the College of Justice — and not being 
a very lengthy communication, I do not hesitate to give 
it entire. 

" I have thocht meit to wryte this to y' lo. at this tyme seing 
wee ar now all united in ane nation, and onder ane sovereign, 
quhairin y' wisdome, following the right ordonance aflf God and 
lawis off nations, is thocht to have had na small pairt As I 
have eiver in my hairt honorit and accoumptet off the verteuis 
and rare qualities y' lo. is raportit to be endewed with, sua now 
I desyre at leist be letters to be acquainted with y' Lo. and to 
have suim certantie be y' lettres that I may luike for the like 
guid will and favour of y' Lo. in all my occurrencis, as yie use to 
extend to thame, quho professis sincere and faithfuU freindsheip 
to yiow, and wisshing na thing mair, nor the weill, quietness, and 
wealth of thair commoun weill. I will trubill y' Lo. with no farder 
at this tyme, hot to pray yiow, as yie have done y' pairt in the 
union off the kingdomes, tua be cairful to have sic ordour satUt 
amangs us, that thair be no occasion off onye breake heirafter. I 
putt na doubt but y' Lo. credict with the K. Ma**®* our maist 
gracious soverane, will be na less bot rather greatar nor eiver it 
was with hir Ma**** off worthie memorie, so I onderstand yie have 
deserved, so I beleive his Ma**** thinks off it, and so I wish it ; far- 
der I do raport me to this berar, and his sufficiencie. This wissing 
yiow all felicitie frome above, and taking my leive, I reste y' Lo. 
maist afifectionat alwayis to be commandit, Fyvie." 

The King's own anxious desire to bring about a good 
understanding between his subjects on the two sides of 
the Tweed, is quaintly expressed in a letter which he 
addressed from Hampton Court to the Lords of the Privy 
C!ouncil of Scotland, on the 12th of January 1604, in which 


he says : " Oure princelie cair mon be extendit to sie 
thame joyne and coalesce togiddir in a sinceir and perfjrte 
vnioun, and as two twynis in ane bellie love ane another as 
no moir twa hot ane estate." 

When we remember that, even at the present day, the 
amalgamation of the two countries is still very far from 
complete, no one need be surprised to learn that, in the 
early years of the seventeenth century, strong prejudices 
against the union were entertained on both sides of the 
Border. Probably these prejudices were more openly dis- 
played by the southrons than by the natives of North 
Britain, and many of the songs and squibs which appeared 
in England were of a very gross and scurrilous character. 
The following pasquinade, published by Ritson, in his * North 
Country Chorister,' is free from both of these blemishes, 
and may be given as a specimen of good-natured banter : — 

" Bonny Scot, we aU witness can, 
That England hath made thee a gentleman. 

Thy blue bonnet, when thou came hither, 
Could scarce keep out the wind and weather, 
But now it is turned to a hat and feather, 
Thy bonnet is blown the devil knows whither. 

Thy shoes on thy feet, when thou camest from plough, 
Were made of the hides of an old Scots cow. 
But now they are turned to a rare Spanish leather, 
And decked with roses altogether. 

Thy sword at thy was a great black blade, 

With a great basket hilt of iron made, 

But now a long rapier doth hang by his side. 

And huffingly doth this bonny Scot ride. 
Bonny Soot, we all witness can. 
That England hath made thee a gentleman.'' 



The oft-quoted saying, " those who live in glass houses 
should not throw stones," originated at the Union of the 
Crowns, when London was, for the first time, inundated 
with Scotchmen. Jealous of their invasion, the Duke of 
Buckingham organised a movement against them, and 
parties were forced fop the puqK»e of breakmg thl win- 
dows of their abodes. By way of retaliation, a number 
of Scotchmen smashed the windows of the Duke's mansion, 
known as the " Glass House," in Martins Fields ; and on his 
complaining to the King, his Majesty replied : " Steenie, 
Steenie, those wha Hve in glass houses should be carefu' 
how they fling stanes." 

On the 29th of April 1603, Lord Fyvie writes to the 
King from Edinburgh respecting the health of Prince 
Charles, and the disturbances among the clans of the 
Western Highlands, which he appears to have regarded as 
intolerable pests. He speaks of the young Prince as 

"that precious Jewell it pleasit your hieness to credict to my 
keiping, quha is (praisit be God) for the present at bettir health 
far then lie was, and, to mak your maiestie mair particular ac- 
coumpt, eats, drinks, and uses all naturall functions as we wald 
wiss in onye child ofif his graces age, except that his nights rest 
is nocht as yit sa sound as we hoipe in God it sail be shortlie. 
The greate weaknesse ofif his bodie, after so lang and heuie seik- 
ness, is meikill suppliet be the might and strenth ofif his spirit 
and minde : I will assure your maiestie he luiks als statlie, and 
bearis als greate ane maiestie in his countenance, as could be re- 
quirit of onye prence, albeit four tymis aboue his age." 

A month later (30th May), the President reports his 
proceedings in connection with the dispute already re- 


ferred to between the Queen and the Earl of Mar respect- 
ing the custody of Prince Henry, in which matter it would 
. appear that both Seton and Sir Thomas Hamilton, the Lord 
Advocate, were disposed to take the part of her Majesty. 
In the same letter, he again refers to the state of Prince 
Charles's health. " Your sacred maiesties maist nobill sone 
Duik Chairles contenewis, praisit be God, in guid healthe, 
guid courage, and loftie minde, althoght yet weak in bodie ; 
is beginnand to speik sum wordis — ^far better as yet off his 
minde and tongue nor off his bodie and feite. Bot I hope 
in God he sail be all weill and prencelie, wordie of your 
maiestie, as his grace is jugit be all werye lyke in linea- 
mentis to yoxu- royall person."^ ^ 

The President concludes with a very earnest and quaint 
appeal for the due maintenance of the College of Justice 
and the careful selection of properly qualified judges. 

"Ane thing restis to me," he says, "quhilk I man tak the 
baldness to recommend unto your maiestie as I haue oft done off 
before, that is your hieness Session and College off Justice, the 
speciall sponk off light, and fondament off your maiesties estait, 
and now the only ornament off this land. I man requeist your 
gracious maiestie to be cairfuU off the honorabill maintenance 
and preservation thairoff, for gif it decay in onye sorte, I will 
assure your hieness, your royall authoritie and obedience in this 
realme will participat off all the accidents may onye wayis befsdl 
to that saitt off justice : and because it is now presupponit be 
monye, your maiestie is to reteine thair suim of our numbir, in 

^ In his early years, Prince Charles showed considerable feebleness in his 
lower <»ctreniities ; " but in the flux of time, and when he began to look man 
in the face, those tender limbs began so to consolidate and knit together, as the 
most eminently famed for exercises of honour were forced to yield him up the 
garland." — Reign of King Charles : London, 1655. 



case sa be, and that your grace be to supplie thair places with 
others, I wald your maiestie remembrit off tlmt guid and nobill 
act, deuisit and sett doune off your hieness awin deuyss, for pre- 
seruation off the integritie off that houss, that na dimission sould 
be resauit in fauorem, bot pure and simpill, and quhen eiuer onye 
place sould vake in onye maner, your maiestie sould present at 
leist three off the best qualified persons to be tryit be the Lords, 
and the wordiest resauit." 

Early in the year 1604, Seton was appointed Vice-Chan- 
cellor, and also a commissioner for the incorporate union 
then projected between England and Scotland. Two of his 
letters to Cecil (now Viscount Cranbome) arc embraced in 
the Hatfield collection, respectively dated 1st Februaiy and 
14th March 1604, in the first of which the Scotch Vice- 
Chancellor apologises for troubling the English Secretary 
with his " booke past and signed alreadie be the attorney, 
my Lord Theasaurer, and Chancelar ofi* the Duchie," for 
the purpose of its being authenticated by the King's signa- 
ture ; and attributes the circumstance of his having tarried 
longer in the north than others, to the courtesy, favour, and 
good entertainment which he had so largely experienced, as 
to have been almost made unmindful of all " dewties and 
afiaires." In the second letter, written at Dunfermline, 
after commending his " speciall guid friend," Mr Alexander 
Hay ^ — ^the bearer of the missive — to Cecil's kindly offices, 

* Younger son of Alexander Hay of Easter Kennot (a cadet of the House of 
Enrol), and a Senator of the College of Justice. He held the office of Clerk of 
Session tiU 1608, when he suc<?eeile<l Loixl Balnierino as Secretary of State. In 
1610, he was raised to the Bench, under the title of Lord Newton ; and two 
years nfterwanls became Loitl Clerk llegister, an office which had also been 
held by his father. He died in 1616. 







Seton thus refers to the tranquil state of Scotland, and the 
all-absorbing question of the Union : — 

" Our estait heir for the present is als calme, quiet, and onder 
als parfite obedience, as eiver I remembir to have seine the same ; 
but [without] onye other apeirance for onye thing I can parsave. 
This union is the maist at this tyme off all mennis thochtis and 
speichis, I find nane ofif any accoumpt heir hot glaid in hairt to 
embrace the same in generall ; suim suspectis the particulair con- 
ditions may engendre greatar difficulties ; I hoipe the wisdome off 
the prence quha is baith the ground and the cornarstane ofif this 
happie union, with yr Lo. and other wise and weill afiFected 
mennis assistance, sail goe about and sett by all sik difficulties. 
As also I think thair can be na particular condition desinit for 
weill ofif ane ofif the twa nations, hot the same maie be profitabill 
for the other, nor nathing can be prejudiciall to onye off the twa, 
bot the same may be lykwayis hurtf ull to the other ; albeit it 
war in na other respect bot be the distracting off thair dew concord 
and amytie, quhilk all guid and wyse men will think off greatar 
consequence and awaill, nor onye particulair may be subtillie 
cassin in [defecUed ?]. This is all I can wryte to yr Lo. eivin off 
our thochtis heiraway ; I doubt nocht bot thair is divers appre- 
hensions thair also off the same subject" 

From the following curious letter, addressed by Sir John 
Crane ^ to the Mayor of Leicester, and still preserved among 
the records of the Corporation of that historical town, it 
appears that the Duke of York (afterwards Charles I.), 
accompanied by Lord Fyvie, spent a day and a night at 
Leicester, in August 1604. The young Prince must have 
been attended by a considerable retinue, seeing that the 
required sleeping accommodation amounted to twelve beds, 

* A John Crane was ComptroHer of the Works and also interim Governor of 
Berwick in 1603. — Border Correspondence in the Record Office, London. 


and the beer to seven hogsheads. We may presume that 
the " pewter " referred to in the letter embraced a suitable 
supply of tankards for the consumption of the liquor. The 
letter is dated from Worksop in Nottinghamshire, which 
was probably the previous resting-place of the royal party. 

" S', I ame to advertia yo" that on Wednesday tlie xv* of this 
instant, Duke Charles, the Kings Ma" second sonne w"" my Lo. 
of ffyvie, La F'sident of the Sessions in Skottland, who hath 
chai^ of bis Grac^ entendeth to bee at Lecester, whear thaye 
mean to rest Thursday all day, and on ffriday after dinn'' to goe 
forwards on their Jomye, Efor which cause theise are in his Ma*" 
name to require yo" to make choice of a sufficient house for the 
lodgine of the Dukes Grace w"" the Lo. P'sident whearin ther 
must be xij bedds, w"* all nessicaries for a Eytchine, and y^ their 
bee vij hogsheads of Beare layed in the same house, for the 
w** yo" shall have satisfaction ; for pewter and lininge his Grace 
must be furnished w"* from yp" ; before bis cominge their sbal 
bee one sent for the making of provision, unto whom I would, 
if bee find it nedfull, be maye have yo' assistance. Thus, 
not doutinge of yo' care hearin, I byd yo" hartelie farewell. — 
Yo' lovinge ffrend, John Crane. 

"flrom Worsop, the ix of August, 1604. 

" To the Eight Wo°" the Mayo', Lecester, or in his absence to 
the Aldermen of the same, give theise." 

The Mayor immediately despatched a messenger to Sir 
William Skipwith to procure his town mansion for the use 
of the Prince and his attendants, which was prepared for 
their reception. The house was decorated with fresh 
boughs, with which it was long customary to hang the 
walla of rooms for perfume and coolness during hot weather, 
while the floors were strewed with rushes and green leaves. 



y Pewter and linen were borrowed, as on the occasion of the 

/ Queen's visit, bedding and furniture being removed to Sir 

William Skipwith's mansion from the Eecorder's chamber 
at the Guildhall. The Prince arrived on Wednesday the 
15th of August, and remained until after dinner on Fri- 
day, when he departed for Dingley, en route to London. 
During his stay, the Corporation provided a " banquet/' 
besides several gallons of sack and other wines, and a sugar- 
loaf. A gift of Ehenish wine and claret was made to a 
certain Mr Grimes,^ who had the charge of the King's 
horses; and twenty shillings were given to his Majesty's 
trumpeters. The royal attendants, as on the former occa- 
sion, evinced a disposition to make the most of their 
opportunity, without respect for the rights of property; 
as it appears that, after their departm^e, the Corporation 
had to pay for certain " Flanders fruit dishes," which 
were provided along with " divers sorts of banquetting 
dishes," some of which were broken, and the rest carried 
away by the Duke's officers and followers. A portion of 
the pewter and linen which had been borrowed was also 
abstracted by them ; whilst some one actually stole the 
bolster belonging to the Recorder's bed ! A most unwor- 
thy return to the good town of Leicester for its generous 
hospitality ! It is to be hoped that the Prince's worthy 
guardian — ** the Lo. P''sident of the Sessions in Skott- 
land" — knew nothing of the viUany of his attendants, 

^ The " Mr Grimes " here referred to was Richard Graham, gentleman of the 
horse to James VI., created a baronet in 1629, and grandfather of Richard Ist 
Viscount Preston, whose present representative is Sir Robert- James-Stuort 
Graham of Esk, Bart. 


who perhaps considered that the inhabitants of Leicester 
would overlook the barefaced pillage, in grateful recognition 
of the honour conferred upon them by the royal visit. 

At the date in question, the youthful Prince had not 
completed his fourth year. In his Continuation of the 
* History of the House of Seytoun,' Lord Kingston states 
that, on the departure of the King and Queen to England, 
in 1603, they committed the custody of Prince Charles to 
President Seton — adding that " he keeped him in his house 
three years, and carried him into England himselfe, by land, 
to the King and Queen's majesties, well and in health ; for 
which faithfull service the King's majestic was thankfuU to 
him." It would appear, however, from the terms of Cecil's 
"Minute" of 12th May 1605 — to be afterwards referred to 
— that Lord Kingston's statement as to the period during 
which the Prince was under the President's care cannot be 
correct. Possibly he may have been intrusted to Seton's 
custody, when a mere infant, in 1601 ; in which case the 
visit of 1604 was probably the occasion on which the Presi- 
dent surrendered his royal charge.^ 

Shortly after Seton's appointment to the office of Presi- 
dent, several important Acts of Sederunt were passed rela- 
tive to the " presentation and admission " of the Ordinary 
Lords of Session, the daily extracting of " Actis and De- 
creetis," the duties of Macers, etc. One of the shortest and 
quaintest of these is in the following terms : — 

"17th June 1593. — The quhilk day, the Lordis of Consale 
statutis and ordainis, in tyme cuming, that ane of the ordinar 
clerkis of Sessione sail daylie wraitt the Lordis sederunt, the tyme 

' See Addendum after last chapter. 


of the ringing of thair bell at nyne houris, and the bell having 
ceissit, the sederunt buke sail be presentit to the President, 
quha, with his proper handwritt, sail clois ilk dayis sederunt, 
writand una cum and the Lordis quha cumis efter the bell beis 
ceissit ; and the sederunt sua closit be the President as said is, 
thair names sail be insert and written in the sederunt bukes be 
the clerkis, bot sail get na pairt of the ordinar contributioun, 
quott and sentence silver, with the remanent Lordis, the tyme of 
thair division for sa mony dayes, as it sail happin ony of thame 
to be insert and markit efter una cumJ' 

Under the date of 11th June 1594, an interesting Latin 
entry appears among the Acts of Sederunt respecting the 
ancient alliance between France and Scotland, and the 
mutual privileges of the natives of the two countries. 
About ten years later (11th January 1604) the record con- 
tains a series of elaborate directions from the King regard- 
ing the despatch of business in the Court of Session, and 
other kindred matters, which were doubtless inspired by 
President Seton's appeal a few months previously. 

In the list of conmiissioners for the proposed Union, on 
the part of Scotland, we find the names of "Alexander, 
Lord Fivie, President of the CounseU of Scotland," and 
*' Sir Thomas Craig of Writchisland, Knight, Lawyer," of 
whom the former was selected, along with Lord Cran- 
bome (Eobert Cecil), to prepare a preface for the instru- 
ment of Union, the body of which was to be put into shape 
by Bacon and Sir Thomas Hamilton, the Lord Advocate.^ 

* Spedding's Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, iv, 43. In the same work 
(iii. 98), in liis Discourse on the Union of Blingdoms, Bacon refers to two con- 
ditions of perfect mixture ; " whereof the former is Time : for the natural 
philosophers say well that compositio is opus hominis, and mistio, opus noUurai, 






A BOUT the beginning of October 1604, the Earl of Mon- 
"^^ trose. Lord Fyvie, and the other Scottish Commis- 
sioners proceeded to England, and there conferred upon 
sundry matters which concerned the Union. In order that 
this favourite measure of King James might secure the 
full benefit of Seton's legal knowledge and political sagacity, 
the Earl of Montrose (Thirlstane's successor) was persuaded 
to resign the office of Chancellor,^ which was bestowed 
upon Seton. In alluding to the appointment, Crawford 
states that Lord Fyvie " was fully able, by hia wisdom and 
learning, to support the honour and dignity of Scotland, in 
relation to the treaty of Union, especially in matters of 

^ On the ides of December 1604, the Earl of Montrose was appointed Viceroy 
of Scotland — Supremus regni Scotice procurator. According to Scotstarvet, the 
foUowing line was inscribed in the Sederunt Book in allusion to Montrose's 
want of learning :— 

Et Bibulo mcmini consule nil fieri. 


law, which no man better understood, or could more solidly 
apply." ^ Seton's successor in the office of President of the 
Court of Session was James Elphinstone, Secretary of State, 
a younger son of Robert, third Lord Elphinstone, who, 
shortly before, was himself raised to the peerage under the 
title of Lord Balmerino.^ 

On the 3d of November 1604, Lord Fyvie writes to Cecil 
from Whitehall. The document which he returns is the 
well-known treaty adjusted in London, on the 1st of July 
1543, for the marriage of Prince Edward (afterwards Ed- 
ward VL) to Mary Queen of Scots ; and the reference to 
the conditions of the union between Castille and Portugal 
is one of many indications of Seton's historical learning. 

" My werye honorabill guid Lord, I rander yr Lo. with maist 
hartlye thanks the treatie off Mariage betwix prence Edward and 
Queene Marie off Scotland, with sik other treaties joyned thairto. 
Because at our last meiting at Counsall anent the materis off 
custume, I tliocht y' Lo. was off opinion that the cuistuimis doeth 
continew betwix the kingdomes off Castilia and Portugall, quhat 
be in y* mater I know not certanlie. Bot in the historie off that 
unioun, writtin be Conestaggio Genevois in Italien, concerning 
the offris maed be the Due off Osuna, thir ar the wordis in the 
Latin translatioun about the end off the fourt buke : — 

' Ut ad utilUatcnt suhditorum et totius Begni, et ad augenda 
commercia et familiaritatem cum Castellanis, Hex tollat vedigalia 

^ Officers of State, p. 156. Eight years previously (1596), Seton's appoint- 
ment to the Chancellorship seems to have been contemplated. — See Spottis- 
wood's History of the Church of Scotland, p. 413. 

* Lord Bal merino held the office of Lord President for little more than three 
years, having been suspended and succeeded by John Preston of Fentonbams 
(son of a baker) in 1608. Four years afterwards, he died of a broken heart. At 
Preston's death, in 1616, he was succeeded by Thomas Hamilton, Lord Binning, 
afterwards Earl of Haddington, and familiarly called " Tam o' the Cowgate." 


ab uiraque parte, d mcrccs libere transporteniur, mtU fiebat ante, 
quam ejtts modi portoricc instiiuerentur.' 

" This was oflFiit to the Portigallis before the warre, with divers 
other guid conditions subscrivit be the king oflf Spane and the 
said Due off Osuna, was nocht then resavit ; Bello confedo quid 
victia concessum, I have na certantie. I onderstand the same con- 
ditions was almaist all grantit in General!, with suim limitations 
addit by the Counsall off Spana Quhen yr lo. lasour may serve i 
will be glaid to have suim leitill Conference with yr lo. anent the 
propositioun to be conferrit on at our nixt meeting in the treatie 
oflf unioun. Sua committing yr Lo. to Goddis holye protectioun 
restis — ^Y' Lo. maist humbill and affectionat to be commandit, 

" Fyvik. 

"Quhythall, 3 Novembr 1604. 

" To my werye honorabill guid Lord my Lord Vicounte off 

Lord Fyrie appears, on this occasion, to have remained 
for about five months in England. His return to Scotland 
is thus chronicled by Calderwood : " The last of Februar 
(1605), the chanceller, who before was president, came to 
Edinburgh out of England, convoyed with manie people of 
all rankes. No subject was seen before to come accompanied 
to Edinburgh after the maner." 

A few weeks before leaving London (9th January 1605), 
Lord Fyvie indites another short epistle to Cecil, in which 
he speaks of the " particular favour quhilk it has pleasit 
his gracious Ma**** to bestow on me, mair be y' Lo. favorabill 
procurement, nor onye desert or sute off my awin" — an 
obvious allusion to his promotion to the office of Chancellor. 
He also entreats the English Secretary " to apeake to his Ma*'® 



before his departour, for the dcspeche off my besiness, iu sik 
maner as y' Lp. sail think meitest, for I lippen that hallie to 
y"" Lp. mair nor to onye other middis \jnean.'i] or mediation, 
and will think me self debtonr to y"" Lp. for the same." 

Almost immediately after his return to Edinburgh (3d 
March 1605), the Chancellor informs the King that, having 
arrived " within this twa dayis," he found the Council and 
Session sitting, and " the estait of the toun (thanks to God) 
rasonabill, guid, and free off sikness or contagion, albeit 
nocht without suim remanis off suspicioun, and suim leitill 
new infections spreiding about, quliilk be God's grace and 
inagistrates diligence I hoipe sail be helpit." The conclud- 
ing sentiment reminds us of a modem statesman's signifi- 
cant reply to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, when they pro- 
posed the appointment of a national fast, on the occasion of 
a threatened outbreak of cholera. 

In the same letter, the Chancellor refers to the long- 
standing feud between Lord Maxwell and the Johnstons, 
and to the contemplated " creatioun of the Earlis " — himself 
being one of the number — on the following day. Accord- 
ingly, on the 4th of March 1605, Lord Fyrie was advanced 
to the dignity of Earl of Dunfermline — the destination 
being to himself and his heirs-male — while, at the same 
time. Lords Home and Drummond were respectively pro- 
moted to the Earldoms of Home and Perth. On the 23d 
of March, the Chancellor writes to the King from Edin- 
burgh, under his new title,^ reporting the proceedings of 

* Wnle the earlier letters are invariably signed " Fyvie," the subscription of 
the later ones appears under at least three different forms — viz., " Dunfemie- 



f • * 







N? 8 




JL ■ I mem 



All the Above Signatures arc from documents in HM. General Re^ star House. Edm"buri}h . 
with the exception of N** 2. which Is taken from a Grant of fishings in the Spey. at Duff House. 


the Council in the trial of Alexander Cheyne for assault — 
the culprit having ultimately admitted perjury and subor- 
nation of witnesses. He assures the King that " the coun- 
sall tuke great paynes in tryall of this mater, and your 
hienes aduocat was als strait and quicke as onye man could 
be." About a month later (20th April), he acquaints his 
Majesty with the steps adopted in connection with the case 
of the Marquess of Huntly, and refers with satisfaction to 
the general tranquillity of the country. 

Among the Hatfield papers is an interesting document, 
consisting of a draft, with corrections, in Cecil's handwrit- 
ing, and endorsed " 1605, May 12, Mynute to the Lord 
Fivye ; " from which it would appear that the intelligence 
of Seton's elevation to the Earldom of Dunfermline had not 
then reached London. The tone of the communication 
clearly indicates the " goodwiU and frendshipp " which pre- 
vailed between the two distinguished statesmen, and the 
occasional occurrence of Latin phrases is characteristic of 
the period. Owing to the length of the " Minute," I shall 
only quote the first and concluding portions. The omitted 
passage relates to the contemplated transportation of 1500 
Scottish volunteers to Spain, through the instrumentality 
of the Earl of Home, and to the great military enterprise 
in which the Dutch were then engaged against the town 
of Antwerp. 

lyne," "AL Dunfermeling," and "Al. Cancell"." Prior to 1598, Lord Dun- 
fermline's subscription seems to have been " A. Seton," " A. Seton P." (Prior), 
" A. Seton Vrqvhart," or simply " Vrqvhart," and occasionally " A. Pluscarden " 
and " A. Seton Fyvie." 


" Minute to Lord Fi/vie, Cecil Papers, 190-79. 

" My very good Lord, — Seeing it must be allwayes a great 
contentment to those whom Princes honour with publicke Magis- 
tracy to receave assurance each from other, whyle they remayne 
farr asonder, of general peace and obedience where they dwell, it 
cannot but much encrease the contentment, when such Ministers, 
whom frendship hath conjoined in straict bonds, may begynn and 
end with theise woords. Omnia bene. Wherein seeinge soe much 
is expressed as there need the feawer particulars, I will for the 
present, as well because I write to one Cui verbum sat est, as in 
respect of some other distraction of business, spare any more 
circumstances then such as may in some measure requite you 
for your advertisement of the setled poUicy of that estate, and 
retourne you thankes for your soe kynde acceptation of my good 
will and frendshipp. Conceminge the state of those whom we 
call Puritanes, it is trew that divers violent spiritts uppon the 
comminge forth of the Cannons have sought, some by petitions in 
combination, some by other private mediations, to importune the 
kinge, with all the motives possible, to dispence with unconfor- 
mity. Wherein although his Ma*^ hath temperately proceeded 
even with greatest offenders, yet hath he made his owne constant 
and understanding judgment so appeare, in pressing a resolytion 
to establish that uniforme disciplyne in his Church, which may 
take away that scandall of division amonge our selfes wherat the 
common adversarye maketh benefitt, as those whoe weare made 
beleive by some that they should be denyed nothinge, which 
they could press with any show of discontentment, have now 
perceaved soe well their errour, as I may say to you as you writt 
to me, that what soever comes to your eares of that nature, with 
any shew of perill to the estate, hath gotten more feathers in the 
flying, then it carryed out. . . . 

" There remayneth now noe more for me to saye at this tyme, 
but that which I shall ever joye to speake and you to heare, which 
is that his Ma*^, by his wise and just proceedinge, multiplyeth 


the afifections of his people, that his posteritye dayly grow and 
prosper beyond expectation, amonge which I know you will 
thanke me for nothinge more, then that I may perticularly assure 
you of the perfect health of that pretious Jewell the D. of York 
whereof you had the charge. Wherin I pray you to beleive 
how Wellcome soever it is to me to tynde your Lps. valuation of 
me and my frendshipp, that I acknowledg your owne meritt so 
great, and know so much of his M^" owne gracious opinion of 
the same. And so with my kind commendation to my L. Heer 
I end. — Your etc." 

On the 22d of June 1605, Lord Dunfermline writes a 
characteristic letter to the King, in which he refers, 
among other matters, to an affray in the High Street of 
Edinburgh between the Lairds of Edzell and Pittarro. 
The fight in question lasted from nine o'clock at night till 
about two in the morning, several of the combatants being 
injured and one man killed.^ The letter begins with a 
somewhat formal statement as to the principal duty of him 
"wha has the honour to beare charge in the Cowmon- 
wealthe" being rather "profitable actiounes" than either 
"guid speitches or tymous wrytts" — "the consideratioun 

^ These street broils appear to have been of pretty frequent occurrence in the 
beginning of the seventeenth century. Only three years after the affair men- 
tioned by the Chancellor, a somewhat similar affray took place in the very 
same locality. In the year 1596, James Douglas, Lord of Carlyle and Torthor- 
wald, killed Captain James Stewart, formerly Earl of Arran, and Chancellor of 
Scotland, on the score of his rigorous procedure against his uncle, the Regent 
Morton ; and twelve years afterwards — viz., on the 14th of July 1608 — (as 
recorded on a slab in Holyrood Abbey,) he was slain, at the age of forty-eight, 
on the High Street of Edinburgh, by William Stewart, the nephew of Captain 
James, who ran him through the body with his sword, killing him on the 
spot — See Notice of incised slabs at Holyrood Abbey, by the author, in the 
fourth volume of Archseologia Scotica. 

70 "facta non verba." 

whereoff (most sacred souerayne)" — the Chancellor con- 
tinues — " as it hes ewer mowed me to preiss and indevoii' 
myselfe, rather to do than to say weele, and to be mair 
emest in doing than busie in writting ; sa now, lykwayes, 
it fumeisses me baldness and reason to excuse myselfe at 
your maiesties handis, gif, perhaps I haue ather sej^nit, or 
heirefter may appeir to your maiestie, to be slaw in vrit- 
ting, or sending adwerteismentis off all particulars." Not- 
withstanding the apology for his "slawness in vritting," 
probably some readers will feel disposed to regard the 
Chancellor as a tolerably voluminous correspondent. Al- 
most every letter, however, which he writes, helps to throw 
some light upon his character ; and no doubt many others, 
besides those which I have been able to produce, might still 
be found in the repositories of the descendants of the per- 
sons to whom they were addressed. 

In the summer of 1605, Mr John Forbes and certain 
other ministers were " warded " in Blackness Castle, in 
consequence of their connection with a convention held at 
Aberdeen in contempt of the King; and Calderwood in- 
forms us that " within two days after the brethren were 
imprisoned, the pest breaketh out in Edinburgh, Leith, St 
Andrews, and other parts." This, of course, is intended to 
indicate an exhibition of divine vengeance for the sufferings 
of the Bark ; and the historian adds, as a special instance 
of retribution, that ** the chanceller's hous was infected ; his 
eldest Sonne and his brother's daughter, a young damosel, 
died.^ A byle brake furth ou his owne daughter. He was 

' Charles LokI Fyvie, bom in 1604, eldest son of the Chancellor, by his 


forced to dissolve his familie. He was beaten by the curse 
pronounced by Joshua upon the builders of Jericho " ! 
Writing to the King in October 1606, after an allusion to 
the prevalence of the plague, Lord Dunfermline refers as 
follows to his own experience. " Some domestic afflictioun," 
he says, " is fallin on my selfe, whilk I can nather dis- 
semble, nor will denye, bot greives me mightelie ; gif it 
war otherwayes, I war onnaturall, senseless, and owir stoic. 
I hope alwayes it shall diuert me from naa poynt of my 
deutie in your sacred maiesties serwice." The same subject 
forms the burden of another letter to the King from 
Dunfermline, on the 30th of October. " In all the corners 
of this Kingdome," he writes, "this contagious siknes is 
sua spreadde, that nather broughe nor land [burgh or land- 
ward] in onye pairt is free. 

* Mista senum et juuenum densantur fiineni.' 

The tonnes of Air and Striveling ar almoste desolat." ^ On 
the same day, he writes more fully regarding the epidemic 
to " The Eight nobill my werie hon^^*" good Lord, Lord 
Ellismeir, Lord heiche Chancellor oft' England." After a 
complimentary introduction, embracing a reference to grati- 
fying letters recently received from the English Chancellor, 
Lord Dunfermline says : — 

" The estaite of this Kingdome in quietnes, obedience, and all 
other respects, is indeed better (thankes to God) at this present, 

second wife, Grizel Leslie; while the "damosel" was probably a daughter of Sir 
John Seton of Bams. 

* The plague appeal's, from variouR sources, to have l»oen almost »t4itionary in 
Scotland for about six years, 1603-9. 


nor it hes bene scene in ony leving mennes rememberance. The 
onlie tmble we haiff is this contagious sicknes of peste, qhilk is 
spread marvelouslie in the best tonnes off this realme. In Eden- 
brught it hes bene continuale this four yearcs, at the present not 
werie wehement, bot sik as stayes the cowmoun course of admin- 
istration off justice, whilk cannot be weill exercised in naa other 
plaice. Air and Striveling ar almost overthrowin with the seik- 
nes, within thir twa monethes about twa thowsand personnes 
dead in ane of thame. The maist of the peple fled, and the 
tounes almoste left desolat. Dundie and Pearthe, otherwayes 
called St Jhonstoun, the twa best tounes in this kingdome nixt 
to Edenbrught, wearie wealthie and merchand tounes indeed, ar 
baithe also infected within theis twa monethes, and in great 
truble. Glasgow and manye other tounes and partes ar in the 
same distres ; God of his mercie remove the same." 

For farther information he refers Lord EUesmere to Mr 
Alexander Hay, Clerk of the Council and bearer of the 
missive — "ane werie honest and weill qualifeit man 
alwayes, and I assure your Lop. ane great admirer and 
honorar oflF your Lops, wisdome and all other wertewes, 
whilkes he thinkes schynes in your Lop. bye all other sub- 
jectes he has eiver knowen." ^ 

In these later days, when the population of Glasgow is 
considerably more than double that of the Scottish metro- 
polis, it is somewhat difficult to realise the curious fact 
indicated by the Chancellor, that, in the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, Dundee and Perth were "the twa 
best tounes in this kingdome nixt to Edenbrught." 

Calderwood gives a detailed account of the subsequent 

^ From the Egerton Papers, the Property of Lord Francis Egerton, afterwards 
Earl of EUesmere, published in 1840. 


procedure relative to the rebellious ministers alreaxly re- 
ferred to, who were brought before Mr William Hart, 
justice-depute, and the lords of council as assessors; and 
after elaborate pleadings, the justice-depute " gathered the 
votes on the one side, and Chancellor Seton on the other 
side. The votes were delivered by rounding [whisj^e^nng] 
in their ear, which was beside the order observed in matters 
of small importance and to the greatest malefactors. It 
was reported by some counsellers that none consented to 
the interloquutor, but only the Earle of Marr, the Presi- 
dent, the Chancellour, the Earle of Montrose, and the 
Comptroller. Howsoever it was, their silence made them 
guiltic. The justice, with the advice of the assessors, and 
in respect of the answers made by the Advocat, ordained 
them to be put to an assize." After various proceedings, 
Spottiswood, Bishop of Glasgow, " delated [ctcctisedl Chan- 
cellour Seton to the King, taking hold of some speeches 
uttered by the Chancellour to Mr John Forbes when he 
compeared before the Council, a little after the assembly at 
Aberdeen. For when the Chancellour alledged they had 
not keeped promise to him, Mr John answered that he had 
keeped promise as faithfully as any that ever his Lordship 
dealt with in this life. Whereupon Bishop Spottiswood 
conceived there was some dealing betwixt them before that 
assembly. The King and the Earle of Dumbar dealt with 
Mr John Forbes to be the Chancellour's accuser, but pre- 
vailed not. The Prince and the Earle of Salisberrie im- 
ployed their credit to the uttermost for the Chancellour. 
Whereupon the King sent a declaration of his will to the 



Earle of Dumbar that he would not have the Chancellour 
convicted, howsoever the matter was cleared. The Earle of 
Dumbar, perceiving the King changed, was loath to lose the 
Chancellour : therefore entered secretly in paction with him." 
It is not very easy to ascertain the true position of the 
Chancellor, in the matter of the refractory ministers, from 
Calderwood's numerous references to the relative procedure. 
He acknowledges that Seton was regarded as "no freind to 
the bishops, and that he feared their rysing." The King 
appears, however, for a time at least, to have not been 
quite satisfied with his favourite counsellor, in whose let- 
ters to his royal master, about this very period, there are 
occasional allusions to certain accusations which had been 
circulated against him. Indeed, an unsuccessful attempt 
was actually made to get the Chancellor removed from his 
post ; " but partlie," says Calderwood, " by his freinds at 
home, and partlie by the Queen and English secretaries 
moyen, he was suffered to injoy still his office. In the 
meane tyme, the Parliament which sould have beene 
holdin in Edinbrugh was prorogued, and appointed to hold 
at St Johnstoun IPertli], becaus the toun of Edinbrugh 
favoured the Chanceller." The following indignant letter was 
addressed by Seton to the King, on the 25th of May 1606 : — 

" Maist Sacred Soverane, — I crave your Majesties favour 
that it may be lesome to me gifif entrie to this letter, with some 
report of the antiquitie, I think to a man that has deligted all 
his days in letters, wryting to the maist learned and wyse king 
in the warld, it can nocht be imputt to great amisse, albeit some 
memorie of learning be intermixed thairin. I red that Marcus 
Scaurus, a man of great renoune amangis the Romanes, /orcn/c 


repyhlica, being accused by Quintus Varius of a verie odious 
cryme, that he sould hailF resaved mercy fra the king Mithri- 
dates for to betmy the affaires of Eome. Efter his accusar had 
deduced all argumentis and probatiounes he could devise, he used 
naa other defence but this : ' Quintus Varius ait, Marcum regia 
pecunia corruptum, rempublicam prodcre vohtisse, Marcus Scaurus 
huic cvlpm affiiiem esse neyat, utri rnugis credendum putatis ; ' whilk 
defence was followed with the acclamation of the haill people, 
considering the accuser as a calumniator and a lyear, and acknow- 
ledging the defendar's undoubted vertew and honestie. Maister 
Jhone Forbes, a condemned traitour for his rebellious and sedi- 
tious conventicles, halden as General Assemblies against your 
Majesties authoritie and command, accuseis your Majesties Chan- 
cellar to haiflf geven advise, counsall, or consent to the balding of 
the said mutinous assemblie. Your Majesties Chancellar sayes, 
it is a manifest lye ; and if it might stand with his honour and 
dignitie of his plaice, to enter in contestation with sic a con- 
damned traitour, could cleirlie verifie the same. Maister Jhone 
Forbes, and all his colleigis, abyddis still at the mantenance and 
justificatioun of that their assemblie, as a godlie and lawful pro- 
ceeding. Your Majesties Chancellar, be his public letters, dis- 
chargit and contramandit the said assemblie; he hes sensyne 
condamned the said assemblie as a seditious and unlawfuU deid, 
and all the pertakers and manteners of the same, as mutinous 
and seditious personnes. Your Sacred Majestic hes to judge 
whilk of thir twa is maist worthie of credeit Farther, I think 
not neidfull to impesche your Majestic in this mater, bot [without'] 
some information I haiff send to Mr Alex' Haye, whilk it may 
please your Heines to accept and heir off, when best lasour fra 
mair weightie affaires may permitt the same. Swa maist hum- 
blie taking my leiflf, and praying the Eternal God lang to 
preserve your Majestic in all felicitie, — I rest. Your Sacred 
Majesties maist humbill and obedient subject and servitour, 


"Edr., 25 Maij 1606." 



A most characteristic epistle, in which the courtier and 
scholar are both admirably represented, in accordance with 
the practice of the time. No doubt, " the maist learned 
and wyse King in the warld " was greatly pleased with the 
classical allusion which it embraces; but the Chancellor 
takes very good care to give the lie to the "condamned 
traitour " in the mother tongue as well as in Latin, and he 
confidently leaves it to the King to determine whether 
"Maister Jhone Forbes" or his Majesty's Chancellor is 
" maist worthie of credeit " ! A passage in Spottiswood s 
* History of the Church of Scotland' has been regarded 
as throwing some light upon Lord Dunfermline's alleged 
approval of the Aberdeen Assembly. " Because the Gen- 
eral Assemblie," he says, "was appointed to be holden 
in September by the brethren who met at Aberdeen, the 
SjTiod of Fife appointed to conveen in Dunfermline the 
second of September ; but they were not suffered to enter 
into the town. Chancellour Setoun being then in Dun- 
fermline, gave commandment to the Laird of Pitfirren, 
Provost of the town, to that effect ; whereupon they went 
to Innerkethine." ^ 

* After alluding to the refusal of the Laird of Pitferran to allow the General 
Assembly to meet at Dunfermline, Mr James MelviUe thus proceeds : " Bot God 
within few yeirs peyit that Lard and Provest his hyre for that piece of service, 
when for the halding out of his servantes from keiping his assemblie in that 
town, he maid his awin hous to spew him out. For a day in the morning he 
was found fallen out of a window of his awin hous of Pitfirren, thrie or four 
hous hight, wither be a melancholius dispear casting himselff, or be the violence 
of vakynd ghests ludgit within, God knawes, for being taken vpe his speitche 
was nocht sa sensible as to declar it, bot within few hours cfter deit." — Diary, 
1556-1601, p. 151. (Ban. Club, 1829.) 


On the 14th of June, the Lords of the Privy Council 
reported to the King the proceedings adopted in the case 
of Forbes. " The mater," they say, " seamed without exam- 
ple, and not without dangerous consequence, gif ane man 
in Maister John Forbes his caice sould be hard to bring 
in questioun the fame and fortune of ane nobilman of sick 
birth, rank, and authoritie vnder your maiestie as your 
heynes chancellar." They mention that the Chancellor 
not only consented to, but earnestly solicited a thorough 
investigation of all the circumstances, which resulted in 
the examination of certain clerical witnesses adduced by 
Forbes, and also of Burnett of Leys, who happened to be 
present at the conference regarding the Aberdeen Assem- 
bly, the whole of the depositions being transmitted to the 
King. In another communication, within about three 
weeks later, in alluding to the procedure of the Lords of 
the Articles in the Parliament held at Perth, in the begin- 
ning of July, they say : " We cannot omit particularlie to 
beare witnes to your maiestie of the wisdome and great 
dexteritie vsed be my lord Chancelar in proponing, dispos- 
ing, and directing of maters in sick maner as serued best 
to bring all to this gude end, wherein my Lord Secretar be 
his persuasiue and pithie reasoning secunded him verie 

In the same letter they report an dmente which had just 
occurred in Perth, arising out of the grudge borne by the 
House of Eglinton to the Earl of Glencairn. On a certain 
Tuesday night, immediately after supper, the Master of 
Winton and his brother. Sir Alexander Seton (nephews of 

78 ''decreet of ranking. 

the Chancellor), with nine or ten followers, encountered the 
Earl of Glencaim with some thirty retainers, on their way 
to the Earl of Eglinton's lodging. The leaders of the two 
parties were in the act of passing each other at a judicious 
distance, when " sum rascall seruandis in the end of thair 
cumpanies " drew their swords and raised a commotion, 
which was only quelled by the intervention of the towns- 
men and the King's guard, and resulted in the "licht 
hurting of verie few, and more dangerous wounds of ane 
seruand to the Erie of Glencairn." The Chancellor was so 
annoyed by the affair that he refused to see his nephews, 
and resolved to have the matter fully investigated " with- 
out respect or fauour of any persone." ^ 

A few months previously (5th March 1606) was pro- 
nounced the well-known " Decreet of Ranking," the result 
of the Commission relative to the Precedency and Priority 
of the Peers of Scotland, which embraced the following 
distinguished statesmen and lawyers : George, Earl Mari- 
schal, founder of Marischal College, Aberdeen ; Alexander, 
Earl of Dunfermline, Chancellor of Scotland ; Lord Presi- 
dent Hamilton (afterwards Earl of Haddington) ; Sir John 
Skene of Curriehill, the eminent jurist; and Sir David 
Lindsay, Lyon King of Arms, nephew of the famous Sir 
David. As stated by a recent writer on " Scottish Titles of 
Nobility," in the * Journal of Jurisprudence,' " a more com- 
petent body of Commissioners could not have been selected, 

* Two letters — dated 6th and 27th August 1606 — relative to the fracas at St 
Johnstoun, will be found in the Appendix to the third volume of Pitcaim's 
Criminal Trials. 


or one which would command more respect." The Decreet 
is fully noticed in the posthumous work of the lamented 
Earl of Crawford on the " Earldom of Mar." 

Calderwood refers to a curious incident connected with 
the Perth Parliament. "At this Parliament," he says, 
"the cries and lords were clothed in reid skarlet. It is 
constantlie reported that Dumbar, Bishop of Aberdeene, at 
the t}Tne of reformatioun, said that a reid parliament in St 
Johnstoun sould mend all again. It wtis thought that he 
was a magician. Ilis speeche is like to prove true, for 
since that tyme defectioun has ever growne." The two 
Archbishops and ten of the Bishops rode, in pairs, between 
the Earls and the Lords, " clothed in silk and velvet, with 
their foot-mantles;" but Blackburn, Bishop of Aberdeen, 
"thought it not beseeming the simplicitie of a minister 
to ryde that way in pompe ; therefore he w^nt on foot to 
the parliament hous. The rest of the Bishops caused the 
Chanceller remove him out of the parliament hous, becaus 
he would not ryde as the rest did." 

On the 6th of August 1606, Lord Dunfermline writes a 
short letter to the King announcing that "yesterday, in 
great zealle and affectioun, we haiff all celebrat the blessed 
memorie of your sacred maiesties happie delyverie from the 
traitour Gowreis treacherous and devilische conspiracie, 
acknawledgeing all thairin the saiftie, preservatioun, and 
greatest evidents of Goddis providence and favourable eyes 
vpon this Hand, Empire, and Cowmounwealthe, that eiwer 
has been schawin ; " and a few weeks later (4th September) 
he applies to his royal master, from " Ncdrie " — the Earl of 




Winton's residence in West Lothian — on behalf of the 
town of Dumbarton, for a grant to enable the inhabitants 
to erect a bulwark against the inroads of the sea. 

After recording the fact that the Christmas of 1606 was 
kept with great solemnity in Edinburgh by the Earl of 
Dunbar and the Chancellor, and in Leith by Lindsay, 
Bishop of Boss, Calderwood endeavours to improve the 
occasion by remarking that "the godlie perceaved what 
was to be looked for afterward by the bishops enstalled, 
when they found suche corruptiouns breake out in the tyme 
that they were onlie aspyring." Time works wonders! 
In these later and more tolerant days, we have many 
instances of Scottish Presbyterians holding an appropriate 
service on the day which is observed as an important fes- 
tival in almost eveiy other comer of Christendom. 

In the course of the two following years (1607 and 1608), 
a good many letters appear to have been addressed by Lord 
Dunfermline to the King. On the 7th of January 1607, he 
reports the disordered condition of the district of Athol, 
" throw the imbeciUitie and weaknes of the Earle of Ergyle," 
the rest of the " Hielands " being in a state of order and 
obedience. He also announces the adjustment by the 
Council of several deadly feuds, and refers to the old 
dispute (as to precedence ?) between the Earls of Eglinton 
and Glencaim, which was to be shortly afterwards con- 
sidered. Three months lat«r (9th April) the Chancellor 
gives an account of the proceedings of the Council in the 
dispute between the notorious Master of Gray and his 
father, in the feud between Haitley of Mellerstanes and 



Home of Eccles, and with regard to the seizure, by the 
representatives of the " vmqnhile Capitayne Achiesoun," of 
a ship belonging to the Estates of Flanders. 

Writing from Dunfermline on .the 21st of August 1607, 
the Chancellor refers to a gracious letter from the King, 
which he had received from Lord Scone, testifying his 
Majesty's remembrance of the good service of his "for- 
bears," as well as the favourable and benign acceptation 
of " my awin goodwill and endewore to employe sic qualitie 
and giftes as God hes bestowed on me;" with reference 
to which he says, " I protest befoir God that, nixt to that 
dewtie I aught to God for my saule and haill being, your 
sacred maiesties honour, will, and weill is, and shall ewer 
be, my first intentioun and principall butt off all my ac- 
tiounes, whairto my haill Industrie and studie shall be 
directed in all sinceritie and ernestnes." At the close of the 
letter, the Chancellor again refers to the solemnisation of 
the King's escape from Cowrie's conspiracy, mentioning that 
the sermon on the occasion was preached in the " heiche 
kirk" by Mr Patrick Galloway^ from the 121st Psalm. 

In a letter addressed to the Eling from Edinburgh, on 
the 5th of March 1608, Lord Dunfermline vindicates his 
nephew, the Earl of Abercom, from the allegation of hav- 

* Father of James Galloway, first Lord Dunkeld, of whose elevation to the 
peerage it was remarked that " though the King could make him a lord, he 
could not make him a gentleman/' 

" The King can make a belted Knight, 
A Marquis, Duke, and a* that ; 
But an honest man*8 aboon his micht, 
Gude faith, he mannna fa* that ! " 


ing taken the part of the Laird of Auchindrane, to be 
afterwards referred to. 

A few months afterwards, the Earl of Dunbar, accom- 
panied by two English doctors of divinity, found his way 
to Scotland, the main object of the latter, according to 
Calderwood, being " to perswade the Scots that there was 
no substantiall difference in religioun betuixt the two 
realmes." He entered Edinburgh, with a great train, on 
the 1st of July, being met at the Nether Bow Port by 
the Chancellor, then provost of the city, the bailies, and 
many of the citizens. 

On the 3d of August, Lord Dunfermline pens an indignant 
denial of the allegation embraced in a " lang, pithie, and 
passionat" letter from the King, which the Earl of Dunbar 
had shown to his Lordship, to the effect that the Chancellor 
had been engaged in political intrigues with his "sax^red 
maiesties worthie, maist nobiU, and darrest bedfallow." 

" Tit came thair neiuer to me sik a greiff in hairt and minde, as 
I resaued be yiour heighness (foresaid) lettir, be the aprehensioun 
I tak yioiu* heighness sould suspect ony sik thing off me. It has 
wounded me sua, that it has putt me fra all other thocht or cair ; 
for as I wald think myself onwordie to be leiuand, gif I haid 
committed sa filthe an errour. sua man I disdane baith my lyflf 
and haill estaitt, sa lang as I am in feare my maist gracious 
souerane has onye suspicion I be onye wayis giltie of sa abomin- 
abill crime." 

After various other strongly expressed protestations of his 
innocence, the Chancellor concludes by assuring the King 
that the " calomneis and malicious delations " brought 


against him grieve him not so much on account of his in- 
dividual interests, as lest the consequences might redound 
on his Majesty for having conferred preferment on " sik a 
man." " I wiss rathir," he adds, " I war dissolued in dust, 
and had neieur bein." These real or supposed intrigues 
are not noticed by any of the contemporary writers, and it 
may be presumed that the King was quite satisfied with 
the Chancellor's assurances, as the matter does not appear 
to be referred to in the subsequent correspondence. 

A few days after the date of the foregoing letter, a repre- 
sentation appears to have been made to the King by the 
Presbytery of Edinburgh, relative to the Preceptory of St 
Anthony, in which it was asserted that " the Lord Chan- 
cellar having in erection an benefice of cure, under the 
name of the Preceptore of Sanct-Antones, an personage and 
vicarage, which, in old time of Papistrie, served the cure of 
the Church of Hailles, notwithstanding refusis to give main- 
tenance, or half maintenance for serving the said Church, 
and therefore, the minister therat, forced be necessitie, hes 
obtained, at our last Assemblie, liberty to remove therefra." 
His Majesty is accordingly requested, either " be com- 
mandement of the said Chancellar," or otherwise, to prevent 
a congregation so near to Edinburgh, and served ever since 
the Keformation, from being " displanted by the evill will 
of evill meaning men," in which expression it may be 
presumed the Chancellor himself was intended to be in- 
cluded. I am, however, unable to indicate the result of 
the application. 

In addition to his judicial and other appointments, Seton 


filled tlie office of Provost of Edinburgh — ^previously held 
by his father George, 7th Lord Seton^ — for the long 
period of ten years, having been originally elected in 1598. 
The following minute of his first appointment is from the 
records of the Town CouncH of Edinburgh :— • 

"Tewsday, Septimo Nouembris l™v*^- Ixxxxviii®. The sam 
day, Alexander Lord Vrquhart and Fyvie, president, is maid burges 
and gild brother of this bur*- [burgh], be ry** of vmq^^ George 
Lord Setoun his father, burges and gild brother of the sam, and 
gaif his burges and gild ay** [oath] as vse is. 

" The sam day, Electis creatts and constitutes Alexander Lord 
Vrquhart and Fyvie, prouest of this bur** for the yeir to cum, and 
Jhonn Moresoun, William Hammiltoun, Jhonn Lowry, James For- 
man, baillies, Dauid Williamsoun, deyne of gild, Eo** Hereis, the"^*; 
and the said lord prouest and James Forman ball:, and Dauid 
WiUiamsoim, deyne of gild, comperand, acceptit their said offices 
and gaif their solem aythis for their administratioun of the said 

It would appear that the Town Council intended Lord 
Dunfermline to enter upon his eleventh year as Provost, in 
November 1608 ; but the arrangement did not meet with 
the approval of the King, at whose instigation a new ap- 
pointment was made. " The king," says Calderwood, " was 
muche offended with the toun of Edinburgh for choosing of 
Chanceller Setoun to be their proveist, and continuing him 

* " When the Lord Seton was Provost of Edinburgh, there was an uproar in 
it, and two of the bailyies came out to their provost at Seton, and he find- 
ing they were accessary to the conspiracy, he imprisoned them in the pit of 
Seton (a place I have seen), which was a dreadful contumely ; and rode in 
presently to Edinburgh, and appeased and choakt the commotion." — Lord 
FountainhaU's MSS., Adv. Lib. 


in that office, which he had keeped diverse yeeres before ; 
howbeit the king had writtin to the counsell of the toun to 
elect their proveist and bailliffes of their oune neighbours, 
trafficquers, for the better preserving of their oune liberteis, 
conforme to the act of Parliament, and that as they would 
answere upon their perrell." Upon this, the Council, to 
pacify the King, elected Sir John Amot, one of their fellow- 
burgesses, to the office of Provost, on the 15th of Novem- 
ber, with the Chancellor's goodwill and consent; and on 
the same day, the election was formally reported to the 
King by the Kev. John Hall and the Kev. Peter Hewatt.^ 
Shortly after demitting the office of Provost of Edinburgh, 
Lord Dunfermline was elected a member of the English 
Privy Council. 

The following excerpts from the accounts of the " Thes- 
aurer" to the Burgh of Edinburgh, during the period of 
Seton's Provostship, show that the chief magistrate of 
Edinburgh, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
was liberally supplied by the Council with the wine of the 
sunny south. Accordingly, we need not be surprised to 

* Some fifteen months later, the same parties indited another epistle to the 
King, with reference to the appointment of a winter vacation for the Court of 
Session having been construed by the common people as an encouragement to 
general " libertie and lowsenes," and so regarded by themselves in their pulpit 
" speaches." They acknowledge, however, that they are now quite satisfied of 
the King's " honest and godly intention," having been assured by the Chancellor 
" that there was none other thing meant by your highnes, but to give relaxa- 
tion to the lords of your majesties session, at that season of the yeir." It may 
be reasonably conjectured that the vacation in question was appointed at the 
instigation of the learned senators themselves, among whom there was probably 
at least one Henry Cockbum, who repudiated the maxim of " aU work and no 


find that, during the greater portion of the same period, his 
Lordship thought proper to decline the Provost's annual fee 
of £20 Scots, which invariably forms the first entry in each 
year's account. Between 1602 and 1608 the entry is 
followed by three cyphers, thus : " 0^*- 0"- 0^ " ; while in 
1608-9, the first year of Sir John Amot's Provostship, the 
usual sum of £20 again appears. 


Item, the 23 of Marche 1598, payit to Andro 

Purves, for ane pace ^ of Spanes wyne, ane 

hundreth threttie thrie poundis sex schil- 

lingis aucht penneis ; and to David Aiken- 

heid,^ the sowme of twa hundreth twentie 

aucht poundis money, for ane tun oflf Bur- 

deux wyne, quhilk was delyverit to my 

Lord Proveist at the Counsellis command 

conforme to a precept, extending in the 

haill to iiflxf vj' viij^ 

Item, for carying fra Leyth to the Proweistis 

hous oflf the said wyne, and in laying in 

his sellaris, ..... iij" 

• • . . . 

Item, the 8 of Maij 1599, to Eobert Johnestoun, 

walx maker, for j dossane of torches was 

gottin the tyme of the Princes baptisme,^ 

to convoy the Proveist fra the Abbay, at 

command of Johne Morisoun, bailze, . iiij" 

* Equivalent to cask — derived from the French word pike. 

* Afterwards Lord Provost of Edinburgh. 

" Lady Margaret, the King's second daughter, at whose baptism, on the 15th 
of April 1599, Lord Fyvie bore the towel.— Balfour's Heraldic Tracts, p. 54. 




Item, the vij** August 1600, gevin to futtie 
[swift messenger i'\ for ryding to Setoun 
with ane letter frome the Counsall to the 
Provest, X* 


Item, the xxij day of December, payit for twelf 
torches to convoy the Provest the nicht 
of the baptisme,^ .... iiij" 


Item, payit to Jo** Moresoun, bailze, quhilk he 
deburssit for ane twn of wyne coft to 
[jprocured for] my Lord Provest, is . ij*^xl" 


Item, payit for foure torcheis to conwoy the 

Prowest fra the Abbay, . . . liiij* iiij^ 

Item, gevin to the bailleis to gif my Lord Pro- 
westis servands the tyme thai war wit- 
nessis to his barne {bairri]? . . xv" 


Item, deburssit be the compter for twelf torcheis 
for convoying my Lord Provest and 
Bailleis doun and up fra the Abbay, . iiij^^ iiij* 


Item, nynt day of Januar, payit to Thomas 
Inglis for ane pype of wyne coft be 

* His Majesty's second son Charles was christened on the 23d of December 
1600, on which occasion Lord Fyvie "bure the Croune Ducall," — Balfour's 
Tracts, p. 55. 

* Probably Lady Lilias Seton, eldest child of the Provost's second marriage, 
baptised 10th November 1602. — Edinburgh Register. 


Dauid Aikenheid, bailze, for the use of 

my Lord Prouest, is . . . . j*^xl^^ 

• • • • • 

Item^ payett to Jo^ Jaksoun for ane half twn 

of wyn gevin to my Lord Provest, is . Ixxxx^^ 


Item, the last of Maij 1605, payit to Adam 

Gibsone for ane tun and half of wyne 

gewin to my Lord Provest, . . ij*iij" 

Item, samyn day, payit to Wilzem Cochrane for 

ane twn of wyne gewin to my Lord . 

Prouest, j^xlvj" 

• • • • • 

Item, payit for wpbringing of the twa twns and 
ane half of wynis gevin to my Lord Pro- 
uest, and in putting of thame in the 
seller, ...... iiij^^ xviij* 

• • • • • 

Item, 20 December 1604, debursit for ane ban- 
ket to the Lords [of Session ?] in the 
heich tolbuith at comand of the bailzeis, 
as the parteculer compt beris. 

Item, debursit for wyne and breid to ane wel- 
cum to my Lady,^ .... 

Item, the 6 of Merch, payit to the trumpeters 
quha raid with the Guid Toun to the 
meitting of my Lord Prouest, 


/iJcm, the samyn day (25 of Marche 1606), to 
Eobert Newtoun for yj torschis to con- 

* Perhaps the Provost's second wife, Orizel Leslie, to whom he was married 
towards the end of the year 1601. 






voy the Prouest furth of the Abay to his 

Luging, at viij* the peis, . . . xlviij* 


Item, the same day (2 1 March), payet to Adame 
Gibsoun for ane tune of wyne coft to the 
Prouest conforme to ane precept, . . ij^'xxvj" 

On the 2d of December 1608, in a letter to the King, the 
Chancellor reports the result of the examination of the old 
and young Lairds of Auchindrane on the charge of two 
heinous murders. In referring to their obstinate denial of 
guilt, he states that their answers were quite irreconcilable 
with their previous depositions, and the statements of 
father and son so contradictory (in addition to other cir- 
cumstances), that "we are all compelled to think in our 
consciences thaj war baithe guiltie." The following day, 
the Earl of Cassilis, nephew of one of the victims (the Laird 
of Culzean), writes a short note to the King, and after 
mentioning the " greit paine and cayr of my Lord Chan- 
celare, quha hes broicht Auchindraine and his sonne to sik 
contrarietie in their depositionis, that all indifferent men 
may be perswadit off thair guyltiness of baith thais mur- 
thouris," suggests the propriety of the King granting a 
warrant to the Chancellor and Council "to putt thame to 
the buittis, quhairthrow thaj may be broicht to the mair 
evident confessioun." 

The circumstances of the murders in question are well 
known to all readers of Sir Walter Scott, who immortalises 
the parties concerned in his drama of " Auchindrane, or the 


Ayrshire Tragedy." John Mure of Auchindrane, a gentle- 
man of ancient lineage and good estate in the west of Scot- 
land, was of so bold and unscrupulous a disposition that he 
allowed nothing to stand in the way of the aggrandisement 
of his own family. His wife was the daughter of Sir 
Thomas Kennedy of Barganie, next to the Earl of Cassilis 
the most important person in the district of Carrick ; and 
Auchindrane observed, with envy and resentment, that the 
influence of his father-in-law was decidedly inferior to that 
of the Earl of Cassilis, chief of the House of Kennedy, who 
then happened to be a minor. The young nobleman's 
affata w^ judiciouBly nonaged by his Lde'sir Thomas 
Kennedy of Culzean, in the capacity of tutor and guardian, 
and Auchindrane resolved to get rid of Sir Thomas by 
violent means. This he ultimately accomplished, after 
more than one attempt ; and at a subsequent period, with 
the assistance of his eldest son James and a certain James 
Bannatyne, he committed a second murder — the victim 
being a lad named WiUiam Dalrymple, who was cogni- 
sant of some important circumstances connected with the 
slaughter of Sir Thomas Kennedy. The elder Auchindrane 
was convicted of counselling the murder of Sir Thomas, 
and also of the actual murder of the lad Dalrymple, while 
the younger Mure and Bannatyne were found guilty of the 
latter crime. All three were sentenced to be executed; 
but Bannatyne obtained the King's pardon, while the two 
others paid the last penalty of the law.^ 

* An account of the proceedings will be found in the third volume of 
Pitcaim's Criminal Trials, along with a series of illustrations relative to the 


On the 5th of July 1609, Lord Dunfermline informs the 
King that the Earl of Argyll had presented to the Council 
" the heads of twa notable malefactours in the Hielands," 
and most considerately refrains from troubling his Majesty 
with their " onpleasand, onworthie, and ongodlie naymes," 
(which, however, he had announced to Sir Alexander Hay) 
— one of many illustrations of the low estimation in which 
the barbarous Celt was held by the Chancellor. In the 
same letter he acquaints the King of the general satisfac- 
tion given by his two chaplains. Doctors Goodwin and 
Milwaird, and in contrast to the value of their services, 
expresses a fear that " thair be toe manye off ours heir that 
braggs toe mutche of thair vocatioun, and knowes toe lytle 
what belonges thairtoe." He also mentions his perusal of 
the Bang's "booke laitlie come to licht, and worthie of 
ewirlasting licht," asserting that " all wisdome, all doctrine, 
all courtessie, all godlines, policie, and ciuilitie schynes in 
the same." ^ Finally, he alludes to an epigram upon the 
King which he had composed in his youth, when his 
Majesty was making his own first attempts in "poesie," 
the concluding distich being as follows : — 

*' Macte animo, Rex, ista tuum genus, ista decebat 
Laus, famam gestis quoBiere, et ingenijs.'' 

A few weeks later (12th August), the Chancellor reports 

popular superstition regarding the bleeding of a body on being touched or 
approached by a relative of the suspected murderer. This is said to have 
occurred when the granddaughter of Auchindrane senior approached William 
Dalrymple*s corpse. 

* Possibly Triplici nodo, triplex cwneus: or an Apologie for the Oath of 
Allegiance, of which the second edition appeared in 1609. 


to the Bang the Earl of Dunbar's great success in bringing the 
Borders to a state of subjection and tranquillity — dwelling 
on the genius displayed by his Lordship m conceiving, bb 
well as on his valour in executing, the requisite measures. 

" He hes had speciall cair to repres, baithe in the incountrie 
and on the Bordours, the insolence of all the proud bangisters, 
oppressours, and nembroithis,^ but [itntlumt] regaird or respect 
to ony of thame, hes purged the Bordours of all the cheiffest 
malefactouris, rubbars, and brigantis, as war wount to regnne and 
triumphe thair, als clem and be als great wisdome and policie, as 
Hercules sometymes is written to hawe purged Augeas the King 
of Elide his escuries, and be the cutting aff be the sword of 
justice, be your maiesties authoritie and lawis, the laird of Tyn- 
well, Maxwell, sindrie Douglassis, Jhonestounes, Jardanis, Arme- 
strangis, Bettisounes, and sic others, magni nominis Itices, in that 
brokin pairtis, hes randered all theese wayes and passages betuix 
your maiesties Kingdomes of Scotland and Ingland als free and 
peciable, as is recorded Phoebus in auld tymes maide frie and oppen 
the wayes of his awin oracle in Delphos unto his Phythicque 
playes and ceremonyes, be the destructioun of Phorbas and his 
Phlegiens, all theiwis, voleurs, bandstiers, and throat cutters. 
These pairtis ar now, I may assure yiour majestic, als lawfull, als 
peciable, and als quyett, as anye pairt in any ciuill Kingdome of 

Probably the Chancellor took too sanguine a view of the 
results accomplished by his Majesty's Commissioner, seeing 
that shortly afterwards a memorial was addressed to the 
King by a number of residenters on the Borders, in which 
they complained of the bloodshed, oppressions, and dis- 
turbances that everywhere prevailed, there being " no more 

* Nimrods 1 — perhaps in the sense of moss-troopers. 


account made of going to the horn ^ than to the alehouse." 
" In the course, however, of the next twenty years " — as a 
recent writer remarks — "these unruly bands were grad- 
ually weakened and dispersed; the generation that was 
arising not being so contaminated as its predecessors with 
that taint of strife and lawlessness which the violent usages 
of three hundred years had rendered all but hereditary in 
Border blood." ^ 

* Homing — bo caUed from the ancient fonnality of blowing a horn — was the 
process adopted for the enforcement of civil decrees. 

* RusseU's Haigs of Bemersyde, p. 406 — a recently published work, fuU of 
very interesting matter relative to an ancient Scottish family. 







rpOWARDS the beginning of the year 1610, we come 
■*- across a curious and interesting episode in Lord Dun- 
fennline's career. It was reported to the King that Sir 
Henry Yelverton, member of Parliament for Northampton, 
had, on several occasions, spoken disrespectfully of the 
Scottish nation, and in particular of Sir George Dunbar, 
the Lord Treasurer, and the Earl of Dunfermline, the Chan- 
ceUor. Finding that the King and his two ministers were 
deeply offended. Sir Henry resolved that, by means of 
explanation or otherwise, he should be restored to their 
good graces. With the aid of " one Mr Drummond " — ^pos- 
sibly the sweet singer of Hawthomden — and Lady Arabella 
StuL. the King-a cousin, he succeeded in ol>4ining an 
interview with the Chancellor, at the house of the Scottish 
Secretary of State in Warwick Lane, which resulted in 
a humble petition from Yelverton to the King, and an 


audience in the royal bedchamber; and so complete an ^ 

understanding was established, that the offender was ap- \ 

pointed to the office of Solicitor-Greneral in 1613, and three 
years later was promoted to that of Attorney-General.^ 

About the same period (30th January 1610), in conse- 
quence of a " missive letter " from the King to the Privy 
Council, a Proclamation was issued "anent the Habitis" 
{Rohes)i which embraces the following elaborate injunc- 
tion : — 

" That the Chancellour of this Kingdome weir, according to his 
awne discretioun, a ritche fair gowne of some sad or grave cuUour, 
conforme to his conditioun, estaite and rank, and that in his sit- 
ting in sessioun, counsell, conventioun, and tirticlis ; hot gif he be 
a nobleman, in his ryding to the Parliament, that he weare the 
habite dew to his rank and degrie of nobilitie : That the Presi- 
dent and remanent ordinarie Lordis of Sessioun sail weare a 
purpour cloath gowne, faced all about with reid crimosine satyne, 
with a hude of purpour, lyned with crimosine satyne also, accord- 
ing to the modell and forme of a gowne send doun be his Maiestie 
to be a patrone for all gownes of ordinarie sessionairis, onlie the 
Presidentis gowne sail be faced with reid crimosine veluott and 
the hude lynnit with reid crymosine veluott; and the saidis 
President and sessionairis sail weare these habiteis vpon the 
streits of Edinburgh during the tyme of sessioun, and at all suche 
tymes as thay come to counsell, conventioun, or vther meetingis ; 
And the four extraordinarie sessionairis to weare blak gownes of 
velvott, satyne, or some vther silk as pleasith thame, lynnit with 
matrix or some vther blak lynning, at thair pleasour." 

The same Proclamation also contains directions respect- 
ing the robes of the Justice-General, Justice-Clerk, Advo- 

* The occurrence is circumstantiaUy related in Fosses Judges of England, vi. 



cates, Clerks of Session and Signet, Doctors of Civil Law 
and Divinity, Provosts and Bailies, Bishops, etc.^ 

From various Minutes in the Records of the Burgh of 
Dunfermline, it would appear that the worthy Chancellor 
was a patron of "the turf;" and, considering the light in 
which anything connected with horse -racing has always 
been held by a certain school on the northern side of the 
Border, it is somewhat remarkable that his detractors should 
have refrained from commenting upon his encouragement 
of such a questionable pastime. The following is a ver- 
batim copy of one of the Minutes in question, dated 19th 
April 1610:— 

" Apud Dunfermling decuno none die Aprilis ano dm mU- 
lemo sexcente™** decimo coram Jone Andersonn et 
Jacobo Mochrie ballievis de burgi. 

" The qlk day in pmce of ye saids baillies comperit psoP" mr 
Cautionxy for James dugles the schoolmaster burges of ye said bur* and upon 
th^^R^^Bell ^ ^^^^ propre qfession actit him his airs exe" and asgns as 
upon the fourt cau' and souritie fiTor David Boeswell broyer german to S'- Johne 
1611*^*^^^ Boeswell of ballmuto knyt. That ye said David or uyers in his 
* name Sail exhibit and produce Befoir ye provest and bailleis of 
1611. ^ This ye said bur* In ye tolbuith yrof upon the fourt day of apryll In 
act deleit be yg y^y. Qf Qq^ sixteen c* and eleven yeira next to cum at ten 
BoisweU houris bfor noon The sylver Race bell double overgilt his ma***** 
prducit th^^ name and arms gravin yrupon Weyand perteng 

induciae this 

day. 1 Miscellany of the Maitland Club, L 151. On the 14th of December 1619, 

Johiie Ander- ^^le Lords of the Privy Council sent a communication to the King relative to 
the robes of the Edinburgh Town Council, who pleaded that they might be 
allowed to continue to wear ^^ blak gownis, as a most decent^ gi^ve, and comelie 
habite beseaming magistrates of burrowes," instead of being required to supply 
themselves with " rid scarlatt gownis," in terms of his Majesty's injunction. 

THE WINNER IN 1610. 97 

to ane noble lord alex'* erle of Dunfnlyne lord fyvie and urqhat 
heich chancelure of Scotland Baillie hera^^ prinp'® of ye regal**® of 
Dunfermling delyverit this day to ye said David In custodie and 
keiping unto the said day Be qmand and ordinate of ye said 
noble erle Be resson of ye said David's blak hors wyning the 
custody and keiping yrof be rining frae conscience brig to ye brig 
of urquhat in companie w* uyer twa hors viz. ane dapil gray hors 
blong* to S' W™* Monteth of Kers, Knyt, and ye uyer ane broun 
hors blong* to Lues Monteth his broyer german and wan frae 
yame ye race. And that the said David Boeswell sail delyver 
and produce the said bell in the lyke and also gud state as he 
nou ressaves the sam under ye pains of fyve hundret merks 
nin^ scots to be payit be ye said cau' to ye said noble erie in case 
of failyer and the said David Boeswell qmpereand prso^°® demit- 
tand his awin jurisdiction and duly submitting him in this case 
to the jurisdiction of the provest and baillies of ye said bur* of 
his awin confession actit him to freth and relive the said Mr 
James Dugles his cau' of this prst cau'*® betwin hym and the said 
baillies and of uyer penalties. The said baillies interponit yair 
autor^ yrto and ordains execution of poynding and warding to 
pass heirupon in case of failyer of production of the said bell at 
the day and in manneir above specy*." 

The only oniission in the Minute is the Weight of the 
" double overgilt " race bell, which was apparently intended 
to have been specified. The owner of the winning horse 
was David Boswell of Craigincat, youngest brother of Sir 
John Boswell of Balmuto, who appears to have died the 
year after his victory (1611), at the age of sixty-four.^ Sir 
John was knighted at the same time as his father, on the 
occasion of the baptism of Prince Henry in 1594. The last 

* Douglas's Baronage of Scotland, p. 311. 



male heir of the family of Monteith of Kerse, in the county 
of Stirling, was Sir William — ^possibly the owner of the 
" dapU gray "—who sold the estate to Sir William Living- 
stone, Lord Kilsyth, in 1631. The representation of the 
family is now supposed to be vested in Sir James Stuart- 
Menteith of Close bum. Baronet. " Conscience Brig" is still 
in existence, and the " Brig of Urquhart " is at the farm of 
that name, close to Dunfermline. The race-course was on 
the Stirling road, immediately to the west of the town, and 
must have been upwards of two miles long, and nearly level 
throughout, with the exception of one pretty steep hill.^ 

* The earliest notice of Horse-racing in Scotland is a brief entry in the 
Treasurer's accounts of 1504, from which, however, it does not appear where 
the race referred to was run. The following entry, in the records of the burgh 
of Haddington, shows that a race for a silver bell had been established there in 
the middle of the sixteenth century : " 1562. May 10. — The quhilk day, John 
Forrois, burgess of Hadingtoun, came cautioner that ane worthie and mychty 
Lord, George lord Seytoun, sail bring the silver bell that his horse wan vpon 
the 10 day of Maij the yeir of God I°* V^ fiftie twa.yeiris to the said Burgh of 
Hadingtoun vpon the thrid day of November the samyn yeir of God, and 
present the same to the provost and baillies of the said burgh of Hadingtoun, 
with ane augmentation lyke as the said lord pleases to augment for his honour, 
and the same bell to be run for the said day, swa the wynnar therof may have 
the same again ; and for observing of thir premissis the said John Forrois has 
acted [bound] himself in the common burgh of Hadingtoun, the said X day of 
May, the yeir of God aboue specifit" 

It is somewhat singular that the winner of the Haddington race, in 1552, 
should have been the father of Lord Dunfermline (George, 7th Lord Seton), 
whose own father (the 6th Lord) seems to have been addicted to sport of an- 
other kind. He is recorded to have been weU experienced in all games, and 
was reckoned the best falconer of his time. 

The burgh records of Paisley contain more than one entry relative to horse- 
racing, the date of the earliest being April 1608. In 1621, we find a curious 
indenture of a race between Lords Morton, Boyd, and Abercom (grand-nephew 
of Lord Dunfermline). It is subscribed at Hamilton, and provides that the 


In the summer of 1610, the Eaxl of Dunbar, accompanied 
by three English doctors of divinity, was sent to Scotland, 
as a commissioner from the King to a meeting of the Gen- 
eral Assembly; and Calderwood informs us that " the chan- 
cellar and sindrie erles, lords, barons, and gentlemen, to the 
number of sixteene hundreth hors or thereby, accompanied 
the Erie at his entrie to Edinburgh upon the 24th of May. 
The proveist, baUlijBfes, counsell, and a number of burgesses, 
were attending in the utter closse of the palace to welcome 
him. That same day, after rysing of the counsell, there 
were two silver maces or wands overguilded with gold, 
caried by two gentlemen, the one before the Erie of Dum- 
bar, the other before the chanceller. This ceremonie was 
observed daylie after, wheresoever they went." 

On the 27th of July, the Earls of Dunfermline and Dun- 
bar, in a joint letter to the King, report the capture, on the 
coast of Orkney, of a vessel of upwards of 200 tons, with 
thirty pirates on board, of whom twenty-seven, including 
" twa captaines " — Perkynis and Kandall by name — ^were 
executed; the three others having been retained in cap- 
tivity, in the hope that by their further examination some 
light might be thrown on the practice of piracy. It appears 
from the letter that the pirates " did interteyne one whome 

course is to be " thrie mett myleis of Cowper raise in Fyff," the stakes ten 
double angels for each horse (the winner receiving the whole), and each rider 
" aucht Scottis stane wecht." The same year, in consequence of the passion for 
the turf having largely increased, a statute was passed which refers to the 
attendant evils, and limits all racing wagers to an hundred merks, under 
penalty of the forfeiture of the surplus to the poor of the parish. — See Mis- 
cellany of the Maitland Club, vol. i., 1834. 


they did call thair persoun, for saying off prayeris to 
thame twyse a day," who either got weary of his cure, 
or became apprehensive of the destruction of his equivo- 
cal flock, and accordingly contrived to find his way to 
Dundee, where he was apprehended, and brought to Edin- 
burgh for examination, the result of which does not 

The Earl of Dunbar and the Chancellor went to court in 
the course of the following September, and the Chancellor 
returned to Edinburgh on the last day of November. Lord 
Dunbar died suddenly a few months afterwards (29th 
January 1611), at Whitehall, and was succeeded in the 
management of Scotch business by John Murray, subse- 
quently Earl of Annandale. Calderwood charitably says of 
him, what he had formerly said of the Chancellor, that " the 
curse was executed on him that was pronounced upon the 
builders of Jericho ; he was so busie, and left nothing un- 
done to overthrow the discipline of our church, and speciallie 
at the Assemblie holden the last sommer in Glasco. But 
none of his posteritie injoyeth a foote broad of land this 
day of his conqueist in Scotland." Scotstarvet, on the 
other hand, in what has been termed his " political epitome 
of slander," attributes Lord Dunbar's sudden death to 
some poisoned sugar-tablets, which were given to him by 
Secretary Cecil for expelling cold. His remains were em- 
balmed, brought to Scotland, and interred within the parish 
church of Dunbar, where a splendid monument was erected 
to his memory. 

In an undated letter addressed to the King, written 


prior to January 1611, Sir Kobert Melville^ speaks in 
very laudatory terms of the Earls of Dunbar and Dun- 
fermline. Of the latter he says : " The Chancellar, 
quhois vpbringing and painfull trauell hes maid him ane 
gret staitisman, being lykwayis directit be your maiesties 
commandement, hes applyit his knawledge and leming to so 
profitable endis, to the honour, aduancement, and quyet- 
nes of this estait, hes, nixt your maiesties awin pairt, the 
prais of the blissit and happie conditioun quhairin the 
cuntrye standis, quhilk, be your maiesties absence, was 
thocht to haif beine hard to pacifie." 

On the 11th of February 1611, Lord Dunfermline, ac- 
companied by some other noblemen, went to Berwick to 
take an inventory of the Earl of Dunbar's moveables, as 
he had previously done at Holyroodhouse, in conformity 
with the King's commission. According to Calderwood, 
the Earl's death "bredd ane alteration in state effairs. 
The Chancellour, with sundrie others of the councell, als 
Weill bishops as others, tooke journey to court about the 
mids of Marche, fearing alteration, and everie man seeking 
his owne particular." The Chancellor returned to Edin- 
burgh about the end of April, and was shortly afterwards 
appointed custodier of the Palace of Holyrood with the 
adjoining park. The management of the offices of treas- 
urer, comptroller, and collector was committed to eight 
coimsellors, or any four of them, the Chancellor being 
always one. The seven others were the President, the 
Secretary, the Advocate, the Bishop of Glasgow, Lord 

^ Created Lord Melville of Monymail in 1616, and died in 1621, aged 94. 


Scone, Sir Gideon Murray, and Sir John Amot, Provost 
of Edinburgh. 

It ought to have been previously stated that, on the 
15th of February 1596, Alexander Seton, Lord Urquhart, 
then President of the Court of Session, obtained a charter 
from Queen Anne, as "Lady of Dunfermline," with the 
consent of the King, of the office of heritable bailie and 
justiciary of the regality of Dunfermline, with the feu- 
duties and perquisites attached to it — the destination being 
to himself and his heirs-male, whom failing, to his brother 
William and his heirs-male. Along with his followers, he 
was entitled to free entertainment, in what is now denom- 
inated the Palace, when attending the regality courts ; but 
this privilege was afterwards commuted into a grant of ten 
chalders of teind black oats yearly, and the whole kain, 
capons, and poultry of the lordship. On the 3d of April 
1611, he obtained another charter from Queen Anne, with 
consent of her husband, proceeding on his own resignation, 
and embracing, among other subjects, the heritable offices of 
bailery and justiciary of the lordship and regality of Dun- 
fermline, " on both sides of the river and water of Forth." 
Besides the office of Bailie of the Kegality, there was also that 
of Constable, or Keeper of the Palace and adjoining grounds, 
which was first conferred on Seton, as Lord Urquhart, in 
1596, and confirmed to him and his heirs for ever, by Act 
of Parliament in 1606, after he had become Earl of Dun- 

In the spring of 1612, a small Popish scandal crops up 
in the Minutes of the Synod of Fife, in which Mr Andrew 

€i «^ A -vrix * X ^-n mTX« ^^tt^xx^ix v " 


Forrester, minister at Dunfermline,^ and Chancellor Seton, 
are prominently implicated. At the diocesan synod held at 
St Andrews in April, " thair was presented ane letter from 
Mr Andro Forrester, minister at Dunfermline, oflfering ex- 
cuis for his absence, in respect of sickness ; as also ane 
apologie of his dealing in the scandall of the crucifix, 
pajmtit vpon my Lord Chancellor his dask in the said 
kirk." It further appears that the matter was found to 
have " giffen gryt offenss to the haUl country ; " and ac- 
cordingly, power and commission was granted to certain 
"brethren" to convene with the Archbishop at St An- 
drews on the 12th of May, in order to try and examine the 
Chancellor as to his connection with the ofience; while 
Forrester was suspended from his ministry, "in respect 
that, after the erectioun of the foirsaid monument of 
idolatrie, he did nether mak advertisement to my lord 
archbishop, nether to the brethren of the exerceis [Presby- 
tery], he being moderator thereof, nor has done anything in 
publick quhilk might declaim his dislyking of the foirsaid 
fact." It does not transpire whether the contemplated pro- 
ceedings were adopted ; but some five months later (Sep- 
tember), the Minutes bear that "my lord archbishop re- 

^ Andrew Forrester, son of Alexander Forrester, minister of Tranent, was 
minister of Glencross, and apparently also of Penicuik, in 1588. Two years 
afterwards, he was translated to Corstorphine, and in 1598 was removed to the 
2d charge of Dunfermline. About 1610, he was translated to the 1st charge, 
through the influence of Lord Dunfermline, by whose aid he had the stipend 
of both charges assigned to him. He suddenly quitted his cure in 1616, and 
three years afterwards was presented to Collace by the King. He died prior 
to November 1631, in the 43d year of his ministry, "covered with debt and 
infamy.'' — See Scott's Fasti Ecclesiss Scoticanaa, vols. i. and iL 


ported that having acquainted the King's maiestie with 
the offens upon the paintrie of my lord chancellar his 
desk, in the Kirk of Dunfennline, had reported his hie- 
ness will that the Kirk insist no further in process against 
his lordship, seeing his maiestie thoght the offens suflBcient- 
lie removid." • 

On the 12th of September, a joint letter was addressed 
to the King by Lord Dunfermline and the Lord Register 
(Alexander Hay), relative to the suppression of the Clan 
Gregor. From the Minutes of the Council Meetings it 
appears that, upwards of a year afterwards (30th November 
1613), it was resolved that the " Clangregour bairns " should 
be distributed among the landlords of the clan, according 
to the " proportion of their lands," and that they should 
be bound to keep them until they had reached eighteen 
years of age, when tEey would be exhibited to the Privy 
Council. A roll was made up and sworn to by Glenurquhy 
and other lairds, and the landlords were enjoined to keep 
and present the children, under a penalty of two hundred 
pounds Scots for the child of a chieftain; one hundred 
pounds for the child of an under-chieftain ; and forty 
pounds for children of meaner rank. 

In the Parliament held at Edinburgh in October, Lord 
Dunfermline was appointed the King's Commissioner. Cal- 
derwood states that it was thought the bishops effected 
this arrangement, "that he might be shifted from his 
office, wherat some of them aymed;" adding that the 
Chancellor "checked them," in his harangue before the 
Parliament. The amount of the grant to the Princess 



Elizabeth, in contemplation of her marriage to the Count 
Palatine, formed one of the subjects of discussion ; 360,000 
merks being the sum agreed upon. The " obnoxious pre- 
latic acts" of the Glasgow Assembly, of June 1610, were 
also formally ratified. 

On the 2d of November, the King's eldest son, Prince 
Henry, died in London, at the early age of nineteen. 
According to Calderwood, the ** Chancellor, the Bishope 
of Glasco, M' John Spottswoode, and some others, were 
sent by the Councell to condole. But before they came to 
Newcastle, they were commandit to retume, by a letter sent 
from the King ; wherat manie wondered. It was alledgit 
that the King had begunne to relent of his greefe, and that 
the sight of the Scottish subjects wold but augment his 
greefe. Some thought it was done to disgrace the Chan- 
cellour, and that it was procured by the Bishope of Glasco, 
who was in his companie. The Bishope returned, for 
obedience, as the Chancellour did ; but efter he had stayed 
ten or twelve dayes, he went up to court." 

The Prince was a youth of the highest promise, aad his 
premature death was regarded as a public calamity. In 
addition to his scholarly tastes, he was passionately devoted 
to tennis, golf, swimming, and other athletic exercises. 
The attachment of the two royal brothers to each other, 
and to their sister Elizabeth, is touchingly evinced in 
many of their juvenile epistles, stUl preserved in the Ad- 
vocates' Library and elsewhere. Upwards of thirty elegies 
and lamentations were published on the occasion of the 
Prince's death, one of which bore the following title : 



106 "poolke" for the great seal. 

'Lachrymae Lachrymarum, or the Spirit of Teares dis- 
tilled for the on-tymely death of the incomparable Prince, 

In the year 1614 and subsequently, we find Lord Dun- 
fennline carrying on a pretty steady correspondence, on 
various subjects, with John Murray, " of his sacred maies- 
ties bedchalmer," afterwards Earl of Annandale.^ On the 
30th of June 1614, he writes to him from Holyroodhouse, 
requesting that he may be furnished with a new bag for 
carrying the great seal. . 

" Lord Dumbar," he says, " send to me from thence eurie yeir 
out off his maiesties wardroppe ane bordered poolke for carieing 
the greate seale, sic as my Lord Chancelar caries thair,* werie 
magnific and honest ; for that can nocht be gottin maed heir, or 
ellis I sould nocht trubill yiow nor nane for ane. Sence my 
Lord Dumbar departit this lyflf, this three yeir I haue had nane, 
and sic as I haue are wome aulde and nocht sa cuimelie as neid 
war, quhilk I man wish yiow, cousing, find meanis to gett supplied 
be his maiesties command out of the warderobbe, as hes bein be- 
fore. Sir Alexander Hay, now Clerk of Eegister, then Secretair, 
quha was in vse to cause mak thame, sayes to me he caused, eiuer 

1 John Murray was the eighth and youngest son of Sir Charles Murray of 
Cockpool, by Margaret, eldest daughter of Hugh, 5th Lord SomerviUe. He 
held the offices of Gentleman of the Bedchamber and Master of the Horse to 
James VI., by whom he was knighted and highly esteemed. Through his 
Majesty's bounty, he acquired extensive estates in Dumfriesshire and elsewhere, 
was created Viscount Annand in 1622, and two years later raised to the dignity 
of Earl of Annandale. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Schaw, 
Knight, by whom he was father of James, 2d and last Earl of Annandale, who 
died without issue. 

* From Paul Hentzner^s Journey into England, it would appear that, in 1598, 
Queen Elizabeth's ChanceUor bore the seals in a " red-silk Purse." — Aungervyle 
Society Reprints, i. 55. 


at my Lord Doumbarris directioun be his inaiesties command, ane 
If Brodic in the wardrobbe mak thame, and thay war all werie 
fair in deid, bordered with the armis of Scotland on the first 
quarter and thridde, Inglish on the second, and Irish in the 
fourt ; ^ and with all ornamentis off baith kingdomes ansuirabill, 
as I doubt nocht but the said M' Brodic, or sum of his seruandis, 
hes yit the exempill beside thame and patrone ; for the last I had 
was in the yeir 1610, sent to me be my Lord Doumbar," 

A few days later (8th July), the Chancellor indites a 
short fiiendly epistle to the gentleman of the bedchamber, 
in which he makes " ane great complaint " to the effect that 
his correspondent's "bedf allow will not tak ane chalmer 
heir in the King's house " (Holjn'ood), which his own bed- 
fellow had prepared for her. In the same letter he refers 
to Lord Fentoun, afterwards Earl of KeUie * (whose only son 
was married, in 1610, to the Chancellor's eldest daughter), 
and also to his sister-in-law, " my Lady Eoxbrough," — ^viz., 
Jean, third daughter of Patrick, 3d Lord Drunamond, the 
younger sister of his first wife. 

The week following (15th July), Lord Dunfermline again 
writes to Murray, from Holjn-oodhouse, with reference to 
various matters. He thanks his correspondent for his good 
offices in connection with a dispute between his nephew, 

^ A similar mode of reckoning the quarters of the escutcheon is followed in 
the patent of arms granted to John, Lord Maxwell of Herries, in 1567 (Seton's 
Scottish Heraldry, p. 73). A modem herald would call the quarters assigned 
to Scotland by the Chancellor, first and fourth^ instead of first and third ; 
and that assigned to Ireland, ikird instead of fourth. 

^ Sir Thomas Erskine of Gogar, one of the King's most gallant defenders on 
the occasion of the Gowrie Conspiracy, created Viscount Fentoun in 1606 — the 
first of that degree of nobility in Scotland — and advanced to the dignity of Earl 
of EelUe in 1619. 



Sir Claud Hamilton ^ and the Lord-Deputy of Ireland, and 
cautions him not to give credit to the allegations made 
against himself and his nephews by the Laird of Skelmorlie, 
whom he describes as " ane kittill, mutinous, and onsatled 
man, full of consaittis, readie to rase and steir maa broylis 
his alane, nor tuentie guid and wyse men wiU gett weiU 
quenched." The letter concludes with the following amus- 
ing statement, which I commend to the attention of the 
Scottish Meteorological Society : — 

" Other occurrence I can write of nane to yiow, hot that we 
haue heir, all this somer, the maist onseasonabill waddir be daylie 
ranis, windis, frostis, and cauld, has eiuer bein hard off in ony 
mannis remembrance. Our astronomaris sayis the plannettis off 
this our climat aperis to be in thair conjunctions, oppositions, and 
sic aspectis for this yeir, in als ill humour, and als far by puir- 
poiss, as yowr lower house has bein thair at this parliament ; for 
be guid rason, the plannettis sould acknawledge the sonne as thair 
lord and maister, quhome fra thay haue all thair light, and sould 
follow his cowrse, and gid to eurie countrie, in eurie quarter of 
the yeir, sic wadder as he apointis the sason. "Wee man referre 
all to Goddis mendis [amelioration], doing the best we may." 

The description of the unseasonable weather is strikingly 
suitable for that which has been experienced by the deni- 
zens of the Scottish metropolis during the past summer 
(1881) ; and there is a vein of sly humour in the statement 
relative to the astronomers, and the comparison between 
the irregular conduct of the planets and the proceedings in 
the " lower house." 

* Second son of Claud, Lord Paisley, and brother of James, Ist Earl of Aber- 
com, who obtained extensive grants of land in Ireland in 1618, and was made 
Constable of the Castle of Toome, Co. Antrim. 


A fortnight later (29th July), the Chancellor informs 
Murray of the adjustment by the Council of a dispute 
between Lords Sanquhar ^ and Kilmaurs, and Drumlanrig 
and his brother— Drumlanrig, however, having been fined 
3000 merks " for his misbehauiour in sending six carteUis 
in scar and terrour to others." In the same communication, 
he refers to a disturbance reported from Orkney — "the 
Erlis bastard sonne " having lately " tane the kirk and stipill 
of Kirkoway (Kirkwall), principall foun off that cuntrie," 
with the aid of six or seven score of " eieuill peopill." ^ 

Shortly after the death of the fifth and last of the Mont- 
gomerie Earls of Eglinton, in September 1612, Sir Alex- 
ander Seton of Foulstruther, third son of the first Earl of 
Winton by his Countess Lady Margaret Montgomerie, and 
nephew of the Chancellor, was served heir to the Earldom 
of Eglinton, and subsequently took a prominent part in 
public affairs, under the sobriquet of " Greysteel." The 
King, however, challenged the transference of the title 
without the royal sanction, and declined to acknowledge 
Sir Alexander as Earl of Eglinton, besides interfering with 
his more substantial rights. The result was a keen con- 
troversy which lasted for more than two years, as appears 
from numerous letters in Mr Eraser's * Memorials of the 
Earls of Eglinton.' In one of these, dated 11th July 1614, 
the Archbishop of Glasgow informs John Murray that he 

^ See p. 115, note 1. 

* For an account of the trial of Patrick, Earl of Orkney, for rebellion, etc., 
in January 1615, at which Chancellor Seton was one of the assessors to the 
Justice-Clerk, see Pitcaim's Criminal Trials, iii. 308. 



had ** spoken with the Chancellar and Sir Alexander Seton 
his nephew. The Chancellar sayis that in his lyf never 
anything trublit him more than his majesties offense at the 
busines of Eglintoun." The Archbishop entreats his cor- 
respondent to use his influence with the King in order to 
get the matter amicably settled, describing Sir Alexander 
as a **younge man of gud expectatioun." Through the 
kindly offices of the Earl of Somerset, or by some other 
means, the King was ultimately induced to recognise 
" Greysteel " as Earl of Eglinton, who duly acknowledged 
a "gracious and princelie letter" from his " maist sacred 
soueraine," announcing his reception into the royal favour. 
On the 16th of March 1615, the Chancellor indited two 
grateful epistles to the King and Murray respectively, with 
reference to the happy termiaation of the dispute. In the 
former, he expresses a hope that his nephew wiU prove 
"nather onwoorthie nor encapabill;" and in the latter, 
after warmly thanking his "right honorabill and wel- 
beloued cousen" for his valuable assistance, he quaintly 
says : « Friendi« ^d kmsmen ., wis are man Aue Z 
doand to otheris all guid offices thay can, eurie ane in his 
vocatioun, place, and calling : reckin ye may spend me as 
onye yie haue maist powar off." The Chancellor's deep in- 
terest in the subject of his correspondence appears from the 
postscript to the same letter, in which he asks the " gentle- 
man of the bedchamber " to let him know " quhat was our 
greatest lattis or impedimentis, or quha was our greatest cor- 
seris " in the " langsum and fashions besines of Eglintoun." * 

1 It appears that the Privy Council when applied to by the King, in May 

it A ^r A rr^^TO " 


On the 2 2d of September 1614, the Chancellor reports to 
Lord Binning the arrival, at Burntisland, of a Spanish vessel 
— ^alleged to be a whaler ; and also the fact of his having 
ordered the bailies of the town to imprison, with a view to 
their formal examination in Edinburgh, " the capitane, wha is 
a Spaniyard ; the pilott, quho is ane Inglisch man and hes 
Spanische languadge ; thair chirurgian, quha is a Frenche- 
man ; and ane Scotts man, quhome thay took in north at 
Aberdour [Aberdeen ?] in our coaste, to be pilate to thame 
in this firthe." 

A few months later, Burntisland again forms the scene of 
a curious episode. Writing to Lord Binning on the 30th 
of April 1615, Lord Dunfermline gives an account of a 
disturbance in the little coast town, ** ane multitude of 
weemen, aboue ane hundir, off the bangstar amazone kind," 
having violently assaulted an oflficer, while engaged in 
executing some legal warrants. They appear to have been 
abetted by Mr William Watson, a minister of the gos- 
pel, who was examined by the Council, and admitted his 
participation in the commotion. On appealing to the 
authorities for moderate treatment, the Chancellor, " in 
respect of his calling and vocation, and the reuerence wee 
bair thairto," recommended lenient punishment, and sug-. 
gested his suspension by the Archbishop, his ordinary, 

1613, with reference to the descent of the Eglinton honours, disclaimed aU 
interference, on the ground of their incompetency to deal with such matters, 
which " behoofit to abyde be the course of law in the ordinar judgement of the 
Session." — See Riddell's Peerage and Consistorial Law, i. 14. Many com- 
petent judges are disposed to hold that the Court of Session ought still to be 
regarded as the proper tribunal for all questions of Scottish Peerage Law. 



and ultimate translation to some more retired part of the 

In the eighth chapter of Donald Gregory's well-known 
work on the * Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland/ 
we have a detailed account of the proceedings of the Privy 
Council, during the five years ending 161 5, in connection with 
the rebellion of the Clandonald of Isla. The author asserts 
that, towards the end of 1614, Chancellor Seton originated an 
intrigue for procuring the release of the son of the Bishop of 
the Isles, who was then a hostage in the hands of the Clan- 
donald, and that he acknowledged having done so without 
consulting his colleagues in the Council. It appears that 
the Chancellor's agent was a Eoss-shire man named George 
Graham, who contrived to accomplish the object in view. 
" There can be no doubt whatever," says Gregory, " that 
the Chancellor was the author of this notable plan to pro- 
cure the liberation of the hostages, and, at the same time, 
to deprive the Clandonald of the benefit of the pardon 
promised to them on this account. There are grounds for 
a suspicion that the Chancellor himself desired to obtain 
Isla ; although it is probable that he wished to avoid the 
odiimi attendant on the more violent measures required to 
render such an acquisition available. He therefore con- 
trived so as to leave the punishment of the Clandonald to 
the Campbells, who were already sufficiently obnoxious to 
the western clans, whilst he himself had the credit of pro- 
curing the liberation of the hostages." On the 9th of De- 
cember (1614), Lord Dunfermline announces to Murray 
the means which had been adopted to procure the sur- 


render of the son of the Bishop of the Isles and the Laird 
of Eanfurley by the rebels of Isla, and mentions several 
payments he had made for the delivery of certain trouble- 
some thieves and robbers, one of whom — ^M^Gillieworike 
by name — " a Barrabbas, insignis latro, who trubled dU 
the Cabroch and Braa of Mar," was executed in Edin- 
burgh. When the Clandonald aflfair came before the Privy 
Council, towards the beginning of the year 1615, the Chan- 
cellor declared that he had given Graham no other instruc- 
tions than to procure the release of the hostages, and also 
denied having authorised him to offer any conditions to 
the rebels ; but Gregory considers that " a careful perusal 
of all the documents connected with this affair leaves no 
doubt that the Chancellor was much more deeply impli- 
cated in Graham's dishonourable practices than he chose 
to confess." 

Lord Dunfermline's correspondence with Murray con- 
tinues pretty brisk during the year 1615. On the 28th 
of January he refers to some false representations of cer- 
tain honest and worthy men made to the King by " de- 
bosched drunkin babillis," which, he philosophically adds, 
must be borne with, "sence eiuer sa hes bein, suim on- 
wordie in onye best estaitt or gang off men, a Judas 
amangs Chrystis twelf apostlis." A month later (24th 
February) he reports the arrest of certain utterers of 
base coin. "Suim villains," he says, "has used to gilt 
suim siluer riellis, baith doubill and singill, and has 
geiuin thame out for Spanish pistolettis, doubill or sin- 
gill." On the 24th of November he states obstacles 




of a very homely kind to his making the journey to 

" Within this four dayis, my Lord Fentoun has signified to me 
be his lettir, it is his maiesties gracious pleasour, at the queenis 
maiesties desire, that I sould cuim up sa sone as I may conueni- 
entlie. For this present I can nocht enterprise that iomay, for 
my badf allow ^ is on the point to be broght to bed within werie 
fiew dayis, and before shoe can be at that estaitt that I may 
Weill leiue hir, will be the dead off the yieir, nudst difficill and 
hard to onye man to trauell, and I am now na chikkin, drawing 
to threescore, was neiuer werye ruide nor strong, albeit nather 
too delicat nor sparing off my self." 

Two days afterwards (26th November), Calderwood in- 
forms us, the Archbishops of St Andrews and Glasgow 
" gave their oaths of alledgance as subjects, renuncing all 
forraine authoritie, temporall or ecclesiasticall ; and of hom- 
age for their archbishopricks upon their knees, holding up 
their hands to the lord chancellour, who was then com- 
missioner for the King, and sitting under a cannabie of 
velvet in the Royall Chappell." 

On the 3d of December the King writes "firom our 
Court at Newmercat " to " oure right trusty and wel- 
beloued cosin and counsellour, the Earle of Dumfermiling, 
our Chancellour of Scotland, and to our trustie and wel- 
beloued counsellouris, the remanent Lords of oure Colledge 
of Justice of the said kingdome," anent the report on the 
state of the Scottish collieries ; and the terms of the royal 
missive indicate a very politic consideration of the question 
of exports and imports. 

* Lord Dunfermline^s third wife, " Dome Margaret Hay." 


ii A •KTTi. AVTTi m*Y« •rr/^'^T^cm-nr.m " 


In a letter addressed by Lord Sanquhar * to Murray, on 
the 9th of January 1616, the writer speaks in very high 
terms of Lord Dunfermline. " GiflFe ye wnderstude his 
lordschip reichtlie," he says, "ye wald find his lordschip 
ane worddie man; and I dar assure yow, the more ye 
haifie ado with him, ye sail ewer find the more worthe 
in his lordschip." Later on, he says, « I knawe his lord- 
schip to be ane of the honestest myndit men within oure 
kingdome, and it is ewer sik men I wald wisse yow to be 
in greitest formes with." ' 

Lord Dunfermline appears to have been in London dur- 
ing part of the spring of 1616, as Calderwood mentions 
that the Chancellor and Secretary returned to Edinburgh 
from Court on the 24th of April, shortly after which " the 
bruit went" that the King intended to visit Scotland in 
the course of the following year; and the rumour was 
soon confirmed by the reparation of the Castle of Edin- 
burgh and the Palace of Holyrood. Probably the visit to 
the English metropolis was in connection with the doings 

* William, 7tli Lord Cricliton of Sanquhar (afterwards Earl of Dmnfries), 
cousin and successor of Robert, 6tli Lord, who was executed at Westminster in 
1612, for complicity in the assassination of John Turner, a fencing-master, who, 
seven years previously, had put out one of Lord Sanquhar^s eyes in a fen- 
cing-match at the seat of Lord Norreys in Oxfordshire. 

* From a letter to John Murray from Francis Stewart, titular Earl of Bothwell, 
dated " Setoun, the 8 of Januar. 1616," it appears that at that time Mr James 
Reath (Rait) was " seruitour to my Lord Chancellour of Scotland." Stewart 
was the eldest son of Francis, the turbulent Earl of Bothwell, and second hus- 
band of Lady Isabel Seton, only daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Winton, and 
niece of Lord Dunfermline. His son and heir, Charles Stewart, is said to have 
been a trooper in the civil wars, and the prototype of Francis Bothwell, the 
dashing cavalier in * Old Mortality.' 


of the King's former page of honour. Sir Robert Kerr, 
created Earl of Somerset in 1613. It appears that in 
the course of the year 1616, the King sent for Lord 
Dunfermline and Sir Thomas Hamilton "to have their 
opinions" of Kerr, in consequence of "sum enormiteis 
and factis done aganis him" by his favourite, and "for 
uther quyet and secret effairis that the said Earle had 
persuadit the King to do againis his noble subjects of 
Scotland." ^ 

On the 12th of June, the Marquess of Huntly appeared 
before the Conmiission, but declined to subscribe the Con- 
fession of Faith, whereupon he was "wairdit" in Edin- 
burgh Castle. There was a division of opinion in the 
Council as to whether or not he should be detained ; and 
the votes being equal, according to Calderwood, "Chan- 
cellour Setoun inclyned to Huntlei's side," on which he 
was set at liberty, after six days' confinement. The same 
historian informs us that on Sunday the 7th of July, 
Couper, Bishop of Galloway, in his sermon, in the Great 
Kirk of Edinburgh, on the enemies of the Kirk, " inveighed 
against the chancelour for maintaining of Papists," encour- 
aged by a letter from the King to the Council, in which 

* Historic of King James the Sext, p. 389. 

Sir Robert Kerr or Carr, Earl of Somerset, was the youngest son of Sir 
Thomas Kerr of Femiherst. He and his Countess (a daughter of Thomas 
Howai-d, 1st Earl of Suffolk, and the divorced wife of the Earl of Essex) were 
convicted of the murder of Sir Thomas Overbuiy, in May 1616. Kerr was 
imprisoned in the Tower for nearly five years, pardoned under the Great Seal 
in 1624, and died in 1646. 


he said he would not permit the Marquis to come near 
him, but had enjoined him to return to his "waird." 
Calderwood adds that "the event proved all was but 

A remarkable episode in the history of the ancient 
family of Bemersyde belongs to the period at which we 
have now arrived. In the year 1610, James Haig, seven- 
teenth Laird of Bemersyde, disponed his estate to his 
younger brother William, a member of the Scottish Bar, 
and secretary to John, 8th Lord Yester, afterwards Earl 
of Tweeddale. During the spring of 1616, while both 
brothers were residing in London, James lodged an infor- 
mation with the King, to the effect that William had not 
only brought about, by astrology, the death of Prince 
Henry in November 1612, but that there had also been 
seen in his possession a special " horoscope," bearing fatally 
upon the life of the King himself. An inmiediate inquiry 
into these serious allegations was set on foot, which resulted 
in the two brothers being sent to Edinburgh and lodged 
in the Tolbooth. On the 19th of June, along with a French 
servant of Lord Tester's, they were examined before Chan- 
cellor Seton and Lord Binning, President of the Court of 
Session. The case proceeded somewhat slowly, and the 
judges appear to have purposely spent time over the busi- 
ness, under the belief that nothing of much importance 
was likely to be elicited. Meanwhile, in the beginning 
of August, William Haig addressed an appeal, from the 
" loathsome hole " in which he was confined, " to the Right 


Honourable my singulax good Lords, the Earl of Dunferm- 
line, Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Binning, the Lord 
Secretary." They at once allowed the petitioner to send a 
full statement of his case to the King, who had previously 
received another communication from James Haig, which 
has not been preserved. It appears, however, from other 
sources, that it embraced serious charges against the Chan- 
cellor and President, in respect that they had refused to 
put such questions to his brother as James desired, and 
that they were conceding certain privileges to William in 
prison, which were denied to him. The two brothers were 
re-examined by the Lords on the 27th of August, without 
any satisfactory result ; and, as a last resort, James Haig 
demanded that the matter between them should be put to 
the issue of trial hy combat, in accordance with the ancient 
law of England in charges of treason ! The day following, 
the Chancellor and President report the procedure to the 
King ; and after repudiating the charges brought by James 
Haig against themselves, they add: "Your Majesty will 
perceive that there is small appearance that our travails 
can produce any further discovery in this controversy, but 
must depend upon your Majesty's own most excellent 
wisdom and resolution." Notwithstanding the terms of 
this deliverance, some further inquiries seem to have 
been ordered by the King; but so far as existing rec- 
ords indicate, the dispute between the two brothers came 
to a close towards the end of October. That the character 
of William Haig was ultimately cleared is evident from 


the official appointments which he afterwards held under 
the Crown.^ 

^ Full details of Uus curious fraternal difference will be found at pp. 126-170 
of Mr John Russell's recent work on * The Haigs of Bemersyde.* In conunentr 
ing on the judicial procedure, the author makes the following statement in a 
footnote : ** John Lord Yester was married to a sister (a mistake for daughter) 
of the Earl of Dunfermline, Lord Chancellor, who in turn was married to a 
sister of Tester's. It might be too much, perhaps, to impute that this relation- 
ship had something to do with the Chancellor's evident desire to end the case 
as against William Haig, the friend of his brother-in-law ; yet it must be 
admitted that the Scottish Bench had not then the character of impartiality." 
Another recent writer, in Old and New Edinburgh, i. 167, indicates the same 
opinion of the Bench ; and, speaking of Lord Dunfermline, says that ^^ Scotstar- 
vet gives us a sorry account of this peer, who owed his preferment to Anne of 
Denmark ! '' I venture to think, however, that more than enough has been 
stated in the preceding pages to vindicate Alexander Seton from the charge of 
unfair dealing. 





/\N the 5th of March 1617, a Convention of the Estates 
^ was held in Edinburgh. « Sindrie harranngs," says 
Calderwood, "were made by the chancelour, the Secre- 
tare, and some others, wherein the King's aflfection to the 
nation was sett forth to the full, and a thankfuU meeting 
requyred." Two days afterwards, in a long communication 
from Lord Binning to the King, he thus refers to the 
Chancellor's speech before the Council as to the prepara- 
tions for the King's forthcoming visit to Scotland : " Ane 
wyse, learned, and eloquent discourse, exponing the true 
cause of your maiesties intended journey, to be your loue 
and longing to sie your native cuntrie and good subiectis ; " 
and gives in detail the procedure adopted in connection 
with the supply of ways and means.^ In the course of the 

^ In another letter to the King, written a week later (14th March), Lord 
Binning refers to Lord Dunfermline's proposal that the then vacant office of 
Justice-Clerk should not be filled up, till the criminal judicature had been 


same year, considerable excitement prevailed in the Scot- 
tish metropolis, in consequence of the King's command 
that the Communion should be celebrated at Holyrood in 
accordance with the English form. Calderwood states that 
Chancellor Seton, Secretary Hamilton, Sir George Hay, 
Lord Clerk Register, the Earl of Argyll, and several others 
communicated kneeling, " not regarding either Christ's in- 
stitution or the order of the Kirk." He also informs us 
that, on Easter Day of the following year (1618), "the 
Communion was celebrat by sundrie bishops in their cathe- 
dral kirks with kneeling," and that the Bishop of Galloway 
administered the Sacrament in the Royal Chapel to the 
Chancellor, Secretary Hamilton, Oliphant the King's advo- 
cate, and others, " to the number of fourtie two persons." 
On Sunday the 14th of March 1619, Spottiswood, Bishop 
of St Andrews, officiated in the High Kirk of Edinburgh, in 
the presence of the Chancellor, the Secretary, and other 
noblemen, "threatening persons of all estates with the 
King's wrath, if they gave not obedience to the acts of 
the Perth assembly;" and his exhortation was speedily 
foUowed by an order from the King to the officers of state, 
the lords of secret council and session, the advocates, and 
the magistrates of Edinburgh, " to communicate in the great 
Kirk, kneeling, upon Easter day next to come, under the 
pain of the losse of their office." 

One of Lord Dunfermline's most distinguished contem- 
poraries was John Napier of Merchiston, the celebrated in- 
ventor of Logarithms, familiarly known as " Old Log." 
Bom at Merchiston Castle, near Edinburgh, in 1550, he 


122 napibe's dedication. 

died there in 1617, at the same age as the Chancellor, who 
was his junior by five years. A few months before his 
death, he published his latest work, entitled * Eabdologiae 
sev nvmerationis per virgulas Ubri duo,' in which he de- 
scribes a method of multiplication and division by means 
of small rodsy which continue to be known and used under 
the name of "Napier's Bones." The learned treatise is 
dedicated, in the following highly flattering terms, to the 
"Scotch Maecenas," who, more like a parent than a patron, 
appears to have supplied himself with a set of silver 
rods : — 

COMITI, FYViEi, et Vrqvharti Domino, eta. Supremo 
Begki Scotice Cancellario. S. 

Difficultatem et prolixitatem calculi (Vir lllustrissime) cujus 
tsedium plurimos k studio Mathematum deterrere solet, ego sem- 
per pro viribus, et ingenii modulo conatus sum fe medio toUere. 
Atque hoc mihi fine proposito, Logarithrriorurn, canonem k me 
longo tempore elaboratum superioribus annis edendum curavi, qui 
rejectis naturalibus numeris, et operationibus quae per eos fiunt, 
difficilioribus, alios substituit idem prsestantes per f aciles cuiditiones, 
substractiones, bipartitiones, et tripartitiones. Quorum quidem 
Logarithmorum speciem aliam mult6 prsBstantiorem nunc etiam 
invenimus, et creandi methodum, un^ cum eorum usu (si Deus 
longiorem vitse et valetiidinis usuram concesserit) evulgare statui- 
mus : ipsam autem novi canonis supputationem, ob infirmam cor- 
poris nostri valetudinem, viris in hoc studii genere versatis relin- 
quimus : imprimis ver6 doctissimo viro D. Henbico Beiggio Lon- 
DINI publico Geomdrice Professori, et amico mihi long^ charissimo. 

Intere^ tamen in gratiam eorum qui per ipsos numeros natu- 
rales oblatos operari maluerint, tria alia calculi compendia excogi- 

king's visit to SCOTLAND. 123 

tavimus: quorum primum est per virgtdas numeratrices, quod 
Babdologiam vocamus : alterum ver6 quod omnium pro multipli- 
catione expeditissimum est, per lamellas in pyxide dispositas, 
quam ob id, Midtiplicationis promptuarium non immerit6 appella- 
bimus. Tertium denique per Arithmdicam localem, quae in 
Scacchise abaco exercetur. 

Ut autem libellum de Fabrica et vsv virgularum publici juris 
facerem, hoc imprimis impulit, quod eats non solum viderem per- 
multis ita placuisse, ut jam fer^ sint vulgares, et in exteras etiam 
regiones deferantur : sed perlatum quoque sit ad aures meas 
humanitatem tuam mihi consuluisse ut id ipsum facerem, ne 
forsan illis alieno nomine editis, cum Virgilio canere cogerer, 
JTiw ego versiciUos fed, etc. 

Atque hoc tuse amplitudinis amantissimum consilium apud me 
maximimi pondus habere debuit : et cert^ sine eo vix unquam hoc 
de virgulis opusculum (cui reliqua duo adjunximus compendia) in 
lucem prodiisset. 

Si quae igitur gratiae k Mathematum cultoribus ob hos libellos 
debentur, eas omnes (tu Vir Clarissime) tuo tibi jure vendicas, ad 
quem non mod6 ut patronum, sed potius ut alterum parentem 
liberfe transvolant : praesertim quum exploratum habeam te meas 
illas virgulas tanti fecisse, ut non ex vulgari materia, sed ex 
argento fieri curaveris. 

Accipe igitur aequo animo (Vir Illustrissime) hoc opusculum 
qualecunque : ejusque licet tanto Maecenate indigni, ut tui tamen 
foetus patrocinium suscipe: Sicut et te Justitiai aequitatisque 
patronum diu nobis et Eeipublicae incolumem servari enixfe k Deo 
optamus. — Amplitvdini ttue raeritb addictissimvs, 

Joannes Neperus, Merchistonii Baro. 

In the summer of 1617 the King visited his ancient 
kingdom, arriving at Seton Palace, the residence of the 
Chancellor's nephew (the Earl of Winton), on the 15th of 
May. During his brief sojourn he went to Seton Church, 


where a sermon is said to have been preached to him from 
a curiously allusive text, James i. and 6 : " But let him 
ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is 
like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." 
On the following day he made his entry to Edinburgh on 
horseback, that he might be better seen by his loving sub- 
jects. About a month later (17th June) the King de- 
livered an address to Parliament, " wherein," says Calder- 
wood, " he expressed the great desire he had to visite this 
realme, to see the Elirk settled, the countrie reduced to 
good order, lawes needing reformation reformed, for the 
good of his subjects. The chancelour (he adds) followed 
with his harangue." After visiting Stirling, Glasgow, and 
other places, the King left Scotland in the beginning of 
August, returning to London by the west of England. On 
the 23d of December, Lord Dunfermline addressed a very 
long letter to " His most sacred Majestic," in which he 
refers, among other matters, to the King's auspicious visit 
to Scotland, to the recent institution of parish schools and 
parochial registers, the reconciliation of the Marquess of 
Huntly and Earl of Errol, and the installation of the Earl 
of Mar to the office of Lord Treasurer. In alluding to the 
preparations made for his Majesty's recent visit,^ he gives a 
short sketch of the royal progress, in which the following 
passage occurs : " Your sacred Majestic honored first my 

^ In the sixth volume of the Balcarres Papers, in the Advocates' Library, is 
a letter to the Chancellor from the bailies of Anstruther Wester, dated 30th 
November 1616, relative to the supply of beef for his Majesty's contemplated 
visit to Scotland. 


lord Erie of Hoomes house of Dunglas with your maist 
gracious presance, and nixt the Erie of Vintouns house 
of Setoun, was in baithe the saidis nobill mens houssis with 
all your nobUls, ressaued and intertenyed to thair powar, 
althoe far onder your dew, yitt to your contentment and 
all your companies honorablie and magnificklic." He also 
mentions the King's visit to the Court of Session, the 
useful measures lately introduced by the Scottish Parlia- 
ment and the General Assembly of the Kirk, and the 
eflforts to maintain good order on the Borders, winding 
up with a loyal and dutiful conclusion. The visit to the 
Court is described as follows : " Your Majestic had your 
nobles, officears and prelattis off Ingland all withe yow, 
in our counsall house and sessioim or souerane Court of 
Justice in this Kingdome, where, in your sacred Majesties 
presance, was syndrie actiouns according to our ordinar 
formis baithe disputed and decydit, the ordour and fas- 
sion whereoff thaj werie weill allowed and commendit, 
albeit in dyuers poyntis different and disconforme from 

The house of the Bishop of Moray, in the town of Elgin, 
was granted by the Crown to Alexander Seton, shortly 
after the Eeformation, along with the priory lands of 
Pluscarden and the lordship of Urquhart. In the year 
1595, he sold the barony of Pluscarden, and certain other 
lands, to Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, but retained the 
lordship of Urquhart and the mansion-house in Elgin, 
where he appears to have frequently resided. In the 
charter of sale, which is now at Duff House, he describes 



himself "Alexander preses CoUegii Justicie," and signs 
"A. Seton, Urqnhart," along with his first wife "Lilias 

The Elgin mansion probably received the name of " Dun- 
fermline Zr^" from the«tance of the priories of 
Urquhart and Pluscarden being dependent upon the great 
Fifeshire Abbey. From a letter written by Lord Dun- 
fermline to John Innes of Leuchars, in 1618, he seems 
to have then been engaged in embellishing the gardens 
of his Elgin abode. "I think," he says, "all ye have 
done to my yeardes wereye weill and ordourlie, and am 
content ye superseid the outredding of the warke, till 
your leisour and commoditie may permitt you to see it 
donne. Insteid of thankis and recompence, I am even 
to burdein you the forder, and to requeist you sa sone 
as you may in the nixt sasone, after the ground shall 
be redde and cleare, to cause outredde and cleare the 
same; for truilie I think lang to be in that countrie."^ 

^ In bis AnnalH of Elgin, Mr Young indicates his belief that Seton was Provost 
of Elgin about the year 1591, and refers to documentary evidence in the hands 
of Captain Dunbar-Dunbar of Sea Park, which proves that he held that oflSce 
(prepositus) in or about 1606. 

My friend Captain A. H. Dunbar has sent me a sketch of an old stone at 
Elgin, bearing three curiously shaped escutcheons charged with the arms of 
Seton, Dunbar, and Falconer. The first exhibits Seton and Buchan quarterly, 
between the letters ** A. S." (the initials of the Chancellor), and surmounted by 

A detailed account of Dunfermline House will be found in Chalmers's His- 
tory of Dunfermline, vol. ii pp. 404 and 432. A shield of arms, surmounted 
by a coronet and accompanied by the date " 1688 " and the initials " I. E. D." 
and "I. C. D.," was formerly over a door in the north court of the build- 
ing — the initials being those of the Chancellor's grandson, James, 4th and last 


During the summer of 1619 the King renewed the High 
Commission, in which Chancellor Seton was embraced 
along with a large number of other " right trustie cousines 
and counselours." According to Calderwood, the frequent 
granting of advocations and suspensions by the Lords of 
Council and Session to such as were in process before the 
ministers and bishops, was the "pretendit occasion" of 
renewing the Commission. 

On the 25th of April 1620, William Rigge and three 
other burgesses of Edinburgh were charged to enter in 
their several wards, without citation, trial, or conviction 
before the council, but merely for his Majesty's satisfaction. 
" When that mater," says Calderwood, " was proponed in 
Counsel, Chancelour Setoun said they could not proceede 
so inorderhe, for it was neither reasonable nor according to 
law. The President, Secretarie Hammiltoun, answeired, 
* My Lord, ye must not frame the question so. It must be 
framed in these tennes. Whether wiU ye give obedience 
to the King's letter or not ? * So the Act waa made with- 
out contradiction." The burgesses in question were charged 

Earl of Dunfennline, and Iiis Countess, Jean, sister of George, Ist Duke of 

It appears from the registered Testament of the " Umq^ Capt**- Patrick Sey- 
toun, brother german to umq*- John Sey toun of Lathrisk," that he died " in 
Elgin, in Murray, in the hous of the richt nobill and potent Lord Alex'- Lord 
of Fyvie, President," on the 16th of February 1600. The Will is dated two 
days previously, and witnessed, among others, by Lord Fyvie. The testator 
leaves various legacies to nephews and other relatives, — among the rest, 900 
merks and his "monturs" [saddle-horses] to be as heirship to John Sey- 
toim, his nephew and heir of line ; and to Janet Duddingstoun, Lady Lath- 
allan, 200 merks, "together with his braceletts of gold, silver saltfatt [saU- 
cellar], and two spoons, with a coupe." 


with countenancing the ministers " who are refractorie to 
the order and constitutions of the Eark, made and concludit 
at the Assemblie of Perth." 

A few months later, Mr Robert Bruce having been 
" delated " to the King for keeping fasts in his own house 
at Monkland, and celebrating the communion according to 
the practice of the reformed Elirk, was ordained, in a 
letter from the King to the Council, to be cited and tried. 
Calderwood states that Chancellor Seton would have shifted 
the affair, alleging that the bishops had a high commission 
of their own to try Kirk matters. Secretary Hamilton, 
however, answered, " Will ye reasoun whether his Majestic 
must be obeyed or not ? " While the Chancellor replied, 
" We may reasoun whether we sail be the bishops' hang- 
men or not." So the matter was referred to the bishops ; 
but as the death of Brace's wife occurred shortly after- 
wards, " he was spaired for a time." 

In writing to the King, on the 27th November (1620), 
relative to the proposed vote for the defence of the Pala- 
tinate, Lord Melros gives a short summary of the Chan- 
cellor's oration on the occasion, from which it appears 
that he began by acknowledging the reasons adduced in 
the King's letter to be so satisfactory that whoever would 
presume to illustrate them, might, "like an obscure glosse, 
wrong an excellent text ; " and after referring to the noble 
and kind duty performed by Hiero, King of Sicily, to the 
Eomans, after their overthrow at Thrasimene, he concluded 
with an earnest exhortation to all to show their liberality 
" in this just querrell." Lord Melros's own speech, however, 


made by "my Lord Chancelars command," completely 
eclipsed the other in the way of classical illustration, em- 
bracing references to the Emperors Tiberius and Titus, 
Charlemagne, Louis VIL of France, and the Consul 
Levinus! On the matter being put to the vote, it was 
unanimously resolved that " a parlement was the onlie best 
way to satisfy your maiesties intention." 

On the 30th of January 1621, Lord Dunfermline writes 
to his friend John Murray, in support of the claims of Dr 
Archibald Hamilton to the Irish bishopric of Cashel. " He 
is minister of Paslay, and I knaw werye weill his father, 
ane werye honest man, Claude off the Cochno ; thairfore I 
remitt that to yiour awin wisdome, albet I wiss eiuer our 
pepill had all rasonabill and possibill helpe." At the close 
of the letter, he reminds his correspondent of his previous 
application for "ane new poolke for the greate seele," to 
which he had not yet received a reply — adding, " nather is 
thair haist in the mater, bot I wiss it nocht foryiett." 

The interesting * Correspondence of the Earls of Ancram 
and Lothian,' privately printed by the Marquess of Lothian 
in 1875, contains a very curious epistle from the venerable 
Chancellor to Sir Robert Kerr of Ancram,* dated " Pinkie, 
24 May 1621." Although written little more Jhan a year 
before his death, and embracing a touching allusion to his 
advancing years, it indicates the possession of no incon- 
siderable amount of vigour, as well as of a calm and con- 
tented mind, arising from a sense of the conscientious dis- 
charge of duty. It is not every man who has passed the 

* The confidential friend of Charles I. — created Earl of Ancram in 1633. 


age of three score and five years, who " in bulk or banis 
finds yit leitill decay," or who can draw the same bow that 
served him forty years previously. The letter is so quaint 
and characteristic, that I make no apology for introducing 
it entire. 

" Maist honorabill good freind, — Yiour lettir in takin and 
assurance of yoiu* kindlie remembrance, quhilk I resaued fra Mr 
James Scot, gaue me greate contentement, nocht for onye doubt 
I could haue before of your constant fauour, bot the notice off 
your hand war to me pignora amoris, sa meikill the mair that yie 
testifie sa cleirlie the guid will yie carle, all sould goe and suc- 
ceid with me to my contentment. I thank yiow maist hartlie, 
and assuiris yiow thair can hardlie cuim onye direction or ordon- 
ance frome thence can displease or discontent me ; parendi gloria 
is all I will clame to fra this furth that be God his grace I will 
keep in that course quhateuir fall. I think na fait can be impute 
to me, quhair I may find me free of fait, I will nocht be subject 
to greate discontentement, and be this stame I intend to hald out 
the reste off my voyage or nauigatioun. I hope shortlie to dis- 
couer my port. Think nocht for this. Sir Eobert, that I think 
me onye neirar to death, farder nor that I knaw thair is sa monye 
yiers of my mortalitie past. Ego jam post terga reliqui sexaginta 
annos, and fyue maa ; bot I think tyme now to be mair circum- 
spect, nocht sa readie to tak meikill in hand for monye respects. 
I find me now far remoued from the springs or sprentis [forces] 
that mouis all the resortis off our gouerment, and thairfore layis 
for suirest ground to moue. I hald or latt goe as our first 
motors settis us to, otherwayis in (bulk) or banis I find yit leitill 
decay in me. I haue bein twayis or thrise this spring ellis 
[already] at Archerie, and the same bowis that serued me 40 
yiers sence, fittis me als weill now as eiuer, and ar als far at 
my command. Suim yiow left me also seruis me als weill now 
as then. It is bot greate viris decayis fast and soune; medi- 


ocritie contented me eiuir, and sua sail still be God his grace. 
This yiow sail haue insteade off greater newis occurrence or 
aduertismentis yie haue in store thar ; wee ar skant oflf heir, to 
enterteine our freindis with in our lettris. I hoipe in yiour 
courtesie and kindnes, at onye good opportunitie, yie will re- 
membir ray maist humbill and denote seruice in all affection 
to our maist sueete gracious yioung Maister: God prosper him 
in all his actions, aduance his honour, and grant him all con- 
tentment. Sua wissis to yiow also yiour maist affectionat freind 
and seruitour, Dunfermeljne. 

"Frome Pinkie, 24 May 1621. 

" Yiour aunt my bedfallow^ has hir also maist hartlie remembrit 
to yiow. I gett skerslie any in a moneth a sicht off my lord 
Yiester ; alwayis he is weill, still f eichting with the world. 

"To my maist honourabill good freind. Sir Robert Ker off 
Ancrum, in the Prence his Heighness bedchalmer." 

In the Parliament held in Edinburgh on the 25 th of July 
1621, an address was delivered by the Marquess of Hamilton, 
his Majesty's Grand Commissioner, in favour of the taxa- 
tion proposed to meet the King's great expenses. He was 
followed by Chancellor Seton. " Efter he had discoursed 
upon the honour of the auditorie," says Calderwood, " the 
qualitie of the royall throne where the Commissioner satt, 
and had given the states everie one their owne due, he 
repeated some things touched by the Grand Commissioner 
and the Bishop of St Androes (who had also spoken), con- 
cerning the necessitie imposed of a liberall taxation, and 

* The mother of the Chancellor's third wife, Margaret Hay, was Lady Mar- 
garet Kerr, daughter of Mark, first Earl of Lothian, who, after the death of her 
first husband, James, seventh Lonl Tester, married Andrew, Master of Jedburgh. 


expediencie to give way to the ordinances of the Kirk. 
He alleged for his purpose that Numa was both long and 
priest. In end, he exhorted them to goe cheerfullie to the 
election of the Lords of the Articles." 

In a letter addressed by Lord Melros to the King, on the 
following day (26th July), he gives an account of the debate ; 
and in alluding to the summing up of the Chancellor, says 
that his description of the dignity of a Parliament was " in . 
so heigh stile and learned substance as did exceede the 
capacitie of many of the vulgar auditors " ! The same day, 
the King addressed a communication to the Scottish ParHa- 
ment anent " assistance to oure sene in law ^ for defence of 
the Palatinat, his natiue patrimonie, and birthright of our 
grandchildren," referring to the war as "justum quia 
necessarium." Towards the end of the letter, he speaks of 
the " grandchildren of Scotland, four of them being sonnes, 
and two doghters," as being so hopeful that " no royall 
familie in Europe hes participat the like blessing by so 
young parentis." On the 27th of July, Lord Melros in- 
forms his Majesty of the resolution in favour of the pro- 
posed taxation — amounting to the sum of £400,000 in 
three years. About a week later, the Grand Commissioner 
exhorted Parliament to yield to the Five Articles concluded 
at the Perth Assembly, and was again followed by the 
Chancellor, who showed that " it was the custom in all 
Parliaments that maters of the kirk sould be first treatted : 

* Frederick V., Duke of Bavaria, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, and King of 
Bohemia, who married the Princess Elizabeth — " th' eclipse and glory of her 
kind" — only daughter of James VI., 14th February 1612-13. Their daughter 
Sophia married Ernest, Elector of Hanover, and was mother of George I. 

"FIVE articles" of PERTH. 133 

commendit the King's care he had of religion and the kirk ; 
proved as he could the articles to be lawful!, and alledgit 
they required not much reasoning, being alrcadie concludit 
by learned bishops, fathers, doctors, and pastors, conveened 
at Perth for that eflfect." When the vote came to be taken, 
the Chancellor desired some that spoke not distinctly to 
speak out freely ; but the secretary said, " Nay, my Lord, 
let them alone ; those that will not speak out, let the clerk 
mark them as consenters." The Chancellor voted with the 
majority in favour of the Five Articles, along with the Earls 
of Abercom and Winton, the Earl of Eglinton being among 
the dissenters. 

The conduct of Mr Robert Bruce — of whose aflfairs the 
Chancellor had some experience when President of the 
Court of Session — again came up before the Council on the 
29th of August. He was summoned to appear a few weeks 
afterwards on the threefold charge of contempt, sedition, 
and breaking of his confinement ; but eventually the Chan- 
cellor passed from the two first counts, and in other respects 
evinced a desire to treat Bruce in a lenient manner. After 
various proceedings, however, he was ordered to be im- 
prisoned in the Castle of Edinburgh, where he was detained 
till the beginning of January 1622. 

On the 22d of November, the day appointed for the 
Lords of Secret Council and Session to indicate their ap- 
proval of the Five Articles, the Chancellor, says Calderwood, 
" inquired at everie one of them what was their resolution." 
They replied that it behoved them to obey the Bang's laws 
and acts of Parliament ; upon which the Chancellor, turn- 


ing to the bishops, said, " You that are bishops sould take 
order with these things, which are mere spirituell, and not 
trouble the counsel with them. You sould first call men 
before your courts, and then, if there be cans, complaine." 
The day following, the advocates and clerks were similarly 
called upon to intimate their resolution. The Chancellor 
informed them what had been done by the Lords; and 
having assured himself that they would follow the same 
course, " they were dismissed with this gentle and generall 
admonition, without particulare inquirie." 





rpHE " port" to which the worthy Chancellor referred, in 
-^ his letter to Sir Robert Kerr, was nearer than he ima- 
gined. After a brief illness of about fourteen days, he ended 
his distinguished career at Pinkie, on the 16th of June 1622, 
in the sixty-seventh year of his age, " with the regreat of 
all that knew him, and the love of his countrie." ^ Oddly 
enough, the paragraph in Calderwood immediately before 
the announcement of the death, mentions the appearance in 
the air, some thirteen days previously, of a dragon spouting 
fire ; and had the historian been a herald, he would doubt- 
less have regarded the occurrence as portentous, seeing that 
the object in question happened to constitute the Chan- 
cellor's family crest ! 

In more than one letter written by Lord Melros to either 

* History of the House of Seytoun, p. 66. The event occurred three years 
after the death of Queen Anne (1619), and three years before that of James VI. 
(1625). Se ton's friend and correspondent, Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, died 
in 1612, at the age of sixty-two, worn out by public business. 


Murray or the King, during the week preceding the Chan- 
cellor's death, he alludes to the anxiety that was felt re- 
garding him. Thus, in writing to Murray on the 10th of 
June, he refers to his previous letter of the 6th, in which 
he had announced Lord DunfermUne's sickness,^ and after 
saying that " God hes turned it to the best," expresses a 
hope of recovery. " I know," he says, " his maiestie will 
be glade to heare from yow that so auncient and worthie a 
seruant is yet able to line, and continow in his wonted 
good affections to do his maiestie faithfull and profitable 
seruice." Three days later, he reports the gravity of the 
Chancellor's condition, and, towards the close of the letter, 
says : " Since the writing of what preceedis, I visited my 
Lord Chancelar, who remembred our long coniunction in 
his maiesties seruice, and our ancient aquentance and 
freindship, which he desired me to remember in the lawfull 
affairs of his ladie, children, and freinds, which I promised, 
and sail, Grod willing, performe." He states, in a postscript, 
that he had received better news of the Chancellor. On 
the night of the same day (13th June), Lord Melros makes 
the following allusion to Lord Dunfermline, after referring 
to certain procedure in connection with a Dunkirk vessel 
in Leith roads : " This accident hes giuen ws proof of the 
incommoditie of my Lord Chancelars absence, who has been 
so sicke, thir fiftene days, that mens hopes and dispaires of 
his recouerie have many times changed." 

* A letter from Sir Thomas Hamilton (Lord Melros) to the King, as far back 
as 7th April 1613, contains an incidental allusion to the temporaiy illness of 
the Chancellor, who was then staying at Dunfermline " to tak phisik." 


Various letters are extant, in which the demise of Lord 
Dunfermline is reported. On the day of his death, the 
Earl of Mar writes a short note from Holyroodhouse to 
his " Good Gossip," John Murray of Lochmaben,^ in the 
following terms : " Theis ar to aquentt you that this morn- 
ing, betuix sax and seuin, my Lord Cancelar departed this 
lyff at his aun hous of Pinkie." The Countess of Mar also 
announces the occurrence to Murray the same day, some- 
what more fully as well as more feelingly. 

" I am sory att my hart," she says, " saving God's pleasur, 
to have this occasion to advertis you of the death of my Lord 
Chanceller, who deceassed this morning, betwixt sax and seaven. 
I pray God derect his magesty to take the best cowrs for the 
estaytt of this poore kingdome, for it will be fownd thatt ther will 
be greatt missing of him that is gone." 

The formal intimation of the Chancellor's death is em- 
braced in a letter from the Lords of the Privy Council, 
signed by seventeen of their number, in which they 

" It hes pleased God, this moiming (16th June), to call to his 
mercie, frome this mortall lyffe, the laite erle of Dunfermlyne, 
your maiesties faithfull and tnistie counsellour, by whose deathe 
we ar deprjrued of grite assistance, solide counseU, and perfyte 
resolutioun, whilk by him we had in your maiesties affairis, and 
of whose panefuU trauellis, cair, and diligence in your maiesties 
seruice, we can beare goode record. Bot seeing in Godis ap- 
pointit tyme, he hes compleit his course, to the regrait of all your 

* Shortly aften\'ards created Viscount Annand ; and in 1624, advanced to 
the dignity of Earl of Annandale. — Sec p. 106, note 1. 



maiesties goode subiectis, we could not omitt of dewtie, in regaird 
of the grite and honourable place, whilk he held in this estate, to 
gif notice of his deathe vnto youre maiestie." 

The letter concludes with an urgent appeal to the King 
to lose no time in making a suitable appointment to the 
vacant oflSce. Three days later (19th June), the Earl of 
Melros thus alludes to Lord Dunfermline's death, in a letter 
to John Murray : — 

" I haue receiued your letter of the tent, and having wretin by 
the packet, caned be George Bailie, who parted vpon Sonday last, 
of my lord Chancelars death, and, in a letter to his maiestie, told 
what order wes intended for keeping the great seale and caschet 
close vnvsed, till his maiestie sould be pleased to giue warrand 
for exercice therof, we expected that they sould haue beene pre- 
sented to the counsell vpon Tysday, but that was delayed vpon an 
excuse knowne to be true, that the Earle of Winton, who now hes 
thame, had beene so ouermatched ten or tuell nights attending 
his vncle in his sickenes, as not going to bed but varie seldome, 
wes much altered and not able to compeir vpon Tysday. We ex- 
pect his presence vpon Thurisday, and therefter ye sail know what 
farder is done theirin, that by yow his maiestie may be informed 
of the counsels diligence. But as I wrote before to yow, vnles 
his maiestie take some speedie course to place in that charge one 
of the worthiest and greatest autoritie in this Kingdome, there 
is danger that his seruice may receiue preiudice. A greater part 
of the burding lyes vpon me nor I am able to beare. Many are 
able to serue at tennice, at the corde, who ar vnfit for the house. 
The nobleman latelie deceased, bearing the weghtie end of the 
barrow, made my charge light at the lower staale, his sufficiencie 
and autoritie making my taske easie, but if I want the like relief 
by anothers imployment in his place, I may shortlie incurre his 
maiesties displeasour for want of sufl&ciencie, when I haue vsed 


the best intended diligence that can be expected from so weake 
an instrument, for eschewing wherof I haue prayed yow, by all 
my letters wretin since the beginning of the Lord Chancelars 
sickenes, to represent to his maiestie the necessitie of a readie 
resolution in the choice of a worthie officer in the place now 
vaiking, and will neuer ' cease to importune yow, whill that 
busines be well setled." 

The allusion to Lord Winton's dutiful attention to his 
uncle in his last illness, is one of many illustrations of the 
estimation in which the Chancellor was held by all his 
kinsmen. Possibly Lord Melros had some incapable aspi- 
rant to the vacant office in view, when he tells his corre- 
spondent that ability to serve at tennis or at the " corde " 
(bow-string ?) does not necessarily imply capacity for state 
affairs. The deceased Chancellor, however, if we may 
judge from his letter to Sir Robert Kerr, appears to have 
been as proficient in physical as in intellectual pursuits. 
Lord Melros's tribute to his working powers is quaintly but 
effectively expressed. So long as the " weghtie end of the 
barrow" was upheld, his portion of the labour was light 
and easy ; but now that his able coadjutor was removed, 
he frankly acknowledges the need of "anothers imploy- 
ment in his place." 

On the 4th of July, in a short letter to Murray, Sir 
Thomas Henryson^ speaks of Lord Dunfermline as the 
" most woorthie and incomparable subject as euer I knew 
in justice seat ; " and some eight weeks later (28th August), 
the Lords of the Privy Council send the following ac- 

■ * Son of Dr Edward Henryson, an Extraordinary Lord of Session, admitted 
as an Ordinary Lord, under the title of Lord Chesters, in 1622— died 1638. 



knowledgment of his services to the King, bearing the 
signature of the new Chancellor and ten other members 
of the Council : — 

" The erle of Wyntoun, vpoun the returne of your maiesteis 
will and pleasoure, anent youre maiesteis grite seale and cashett, 
quhairof the laite erle of Dunfennlyne, your maiesteis Chancel- 
lour and faithfull seruand, had the charge and keeping, haueing 
the same befoir youre maiesteis counsell, who wer conuenit in a 
frequent nomber at that tyme, he humelie desirit, that by some 
autentique record, the dewtifull behaviour and cariage of the said 
laite lord Chancellour, in youre maiesteis affairis and seruice, 
might be testifeit and approvin, to the effect the same might re- 
mayne to his posteritie, as a pledge and taikine of youre maiesteis 
gratious fauour, and by the quhilk youre maiestie wes to croune 
the mony grite fauouris formarlie bestowed be youre maiestie 
vpoun him. This petitioun being hard and considderit in coun- 
sell, it wes thoght meete that the same sould be recommendit 
vnto youre maiestie, to whome the sinceritie of that nobleman, his 
affectioun and dispositioun to youre maiesteis seruice, wes so 
weele knowne ; and thay nowayes doubtit bot that youre sacred 
maiestie, oute of youre awne gratious respect towards all youre weill 
deserving seruandis, wil be pleased to allow of this approbatioun." 

According to one account, Lord Dunfermline's body was 
laid out in state in the Church of St Michael at Inveresk, 
and on the 19th of July was buried with great solemnity 
at Dalgety in Fife. This is mentioned by Dr Moir 
("Delta") in the notice of Inveresk in the 'New Statis- 
tical Account of Scotland ; ' but I have failed to discover 
any authority for the former statement. It so happens 
that the body of the Chancellor's grandson, the famous 
Duke of Lauderdale, who died in 1682, "in suo templo 


Musselburgeni a 25 Octobris ad 5™ Aprilis diem pcnnan- 
sit;"^ and it is not improbable that some mistake may 
have arisen from the circumstance of the dates of death of 
the grandfather and grandson differing only in a single 
figure (1622 and 1682). In the following circumstantial 
description of the funeral,^ the body is said to have been 
embalmed and removed to Dalgety three days after the 
death, while the ninth of July is given as the date of the 
interment : — 

" A Note or Memoriall of y* Buriall of that Noble Honourable 
and Never to be forgotten Worthe man Alexander Earle of Dum- 
ferling Lord Fyvie and Urquhart Great Chanceller of Scotland 
who took Sickness the first of June 1622 and Dyed on Sunday 
the Sixtine of y® said month being Sunday {sic) at Seiven hours 
in the Morning at Pinkie and the same Day He was Imbalmed 
and clos'd up in a chist of Oak and remained ther till Wedens- 
day the 19" of the said moneth, The whilk day he was convoyed 
be his servants (before) frae Muselbrough or Pinky first by Coatch 
and then by Boate thence to Dalgity in flfyfe and was on y® Sea 
from Five Hours Eftemoone till 8 at Night when he was Caried 
from y* Sea Syde furth of y® bark be his Friends and servants to 
his House of Degity and was putt in a Chamber and watched 
ther till tuesday the 9 of JuUy 1622: The qlk day He was 
honourable buried and Convoyed from the House of Degity to 
the Kirk y' at y® sea syde in forme and manner eftermentioned. 

* From a long inscription on a marble tablet formerly in the vestry of Inver- 
esk Church, from which it mysteriously disappeared a few years ago. Fortu- 
nately, an accurate copy of the inscription is in the possession of the Rev. Dr 
Struthers of Prestonpans. 

* Embraced in an untitled MS. (commencing at page 9), in the Lyon Office. 
Possibly it may be the account of the " Ceremony " referred to by Crawford in 
his * Lives of the Officers of State.' 



Imprimis Tlier went before all 25 poor-ons Carying on a 
Stafes end the Armes painted on bukrum and one of y™ before 
all carying y® Gumpheon. 

Nixt followed John Menzies of Carlinlips (Carlops) his Lord- 
shipes Master-stabler riding on horse-back all cled in Armour 
Carying on a spears point quarterlay Yellow and Whyt tefety 
whilk is y® Ground of y® Cullers of y® House and freing'd w* a 
freinge of the sd culers being Squaire. 

Next foUoued 2 Leckies cled in cullers or livery having ther 
coate of black Velvet and y® Crest or Cogniscance of Gold-smith 
work in y*" breist or back Leading a Horse covered with a Rich 
Footmantle for y® Parliament. 

Then followed other 2 Leckies Cled In Dule w* the velvet 
coates and Cogniscances on y^ breists and Backs Leading a Horse 
cled w* a footmantle and Coaparisone in Dule. 

Next to y™ folloued 3 Trumpets. 

Next to y™ followed 2 Pui-sevants Vez. Gilbert Hunter Ding- 
uall and James CuiTay Ormond. 

Then folloued y® master Houshold M""* John Drummond cary- 
ing y® Gumpheon of state which was a Morthead painted on black 
tefety Pondered with tears on a speirs poynt. 

Then folloued y® Gentlemen w* y® 4 Branches. 

1. William Seattone of Oudnie (Udny) and Good men of 

Mounie caried y® Armes of y® house of Hamiltone of 
Some on y® moy*" syde. 

2. Mr Alexander Seatton of Garguno(ck) caried y® armes of 

y® Lord Yester. 

3. Mr Alexander Seatton of Lachrist (Lathrisk) Caried y° 

Armes of y® Earle of Cassills. 

4. John (George ?) Seatton of Cariestoune caried ye Armes 

of y^ Earle of Seton (Winton). 

M'- Walter Seatton Laird of Meldrum caried y® Pinsell which 
was y« Creist and word Semper, painted on black tefety. 

(James) Seatone Laird of Touch caried y® Standert of black 
tefety which hade Painted on it y® whoU atchivment. 


Then folloued 3 Trumpets. 

Next Eliazer Makesone Bute Pursevant. 

Next to him Thomus Drysdale Ilay and Ro*- Windram Albanj 
Heralds, with y'^ Coates of OflBce on y^". 

Then followed George Dumbar his Lord-shipes servant carying 
y" Maise [iruice] Covered with black Crisp [crape]. 

Then followed S' William Seaton of Kylsmuire Knight 
Caried y* Great seall and ir James Kaith ^ Keeper of y® same 
besyde him. 

Next followed William Seatton, sone to y* g** S^ Will"* Caried 
y® Parliament Roab, (in) which y® s^ E. was created Vez. of ride 
[red] Crimsone Velvet lyned with whyte tefety, y* fents^ taill 
and sleives edgite with Ermine. 

John Seaton brother Germane to y® Earle of Wintone caried 
ye Suord and belt. 

Tho. Seaton his other brother y® Gold Comitall Coronet upon 
a Velvet Cusheon. 

And on y® sids of thir 3 forsaids peice of Honours, The 4 
ordenary Macers made guard with y® Maces. 

Then followed y® Corps in a Coffen of timber (?) covered w* a 
faire velvet mortcloth of black velvet a Gold Comitall coronet 
on a velvet Cusheon on y* head of y® sead Coflfen ; 

The E. of Wintone Cheife mumer, Carying y® head of y® Corps. 
S' James (John ?) Seaton of Barnes, at y® right shoulder. S' Da\dd 
Lindsay of Balcarres at y® left. S*" Wallter hay brother Germane 
to y® Lord Yester, William and Claud Hamiltones brother Germanes 
to y® E. of Abercorne, S'^ (Thomas) Urquhart Shirreff of Cromertie, 
The Laird of Bamff OgUvie, The Laird of Towie, The Laird of 
Kerss Monteith, The Laird of Carnowties Ogilvy, The Laird 
Tolquhone Forbes, who all caried y® Coffen and Corps. 

And for bearing of y® rich Paill, which was of black Velvet 
above y® Corps, and on y® banners of it y® 4 branches painted 

* Jamen Rait of E<lmon8tone, whose daugliter Anna married John, 2d Ron of 
Sir John Wauchope of Niddrie, ancestor of Sir John Don-Wauchope, Bart 
2 Openings — from the Froncli fente. 

144 seton's fifeshire estate. 

on Mettall, M' George Seaton of Barha (Barra), the Laird of 
Schethim Seaton, John Seaton of Menies Chamberland of Fyvie, 
James Seaton uncUe to y® Laird of Cariestone. M' James Seaton of 
Fallsyde all y® 4 Kobert Seaton attenders And Servants to the E. 
of Wintone Ro** Seaton Sone to y* Chamberland, and Henry Seaton.^ 

Then followed ye closs mumers asisting y* chief mumers 
Having y' traines borne up by y' Servants To witt : Angus, Mon- 
teith, Eothes, Eglintoune, Abercome, Vis'cont Ladderdaile. Earles 
Mar, Mortoune, Buchane, Pearth, Melross, w* Innumerable Bar- 
rones Knights Esquires Gentlemen Burgeses and Commones 
Convoying y* said Corps, from y* said Place of Degity to y* g* 
Kirk or chappell at y* Seaside and being brought y' was sett 
doune befor y* Pulpite, till a excellent Sermone was maid by Mr 
William (John) Spotswood, Archbishope of S** Andrews, and efter 
Sermone, y" Corps was caned to a Litell isle or burial place 
which him selfe had caus'd bid't to his 2 Wyfes and Children, 
and himselfe was buried and Laid betuixt his 2 wiffes ; and y^ 
Kist was Immediatly putt in a Lead Coffen maid of purpose to 
receave him. 

Therefter all the people Craved at God a happy Besurrectione 
of his Soull with sound of trumpets and Great regraite of his Loss. 
The Heralds gott 100 mks. y" Pursevants 50 libs."* 

The connection between the Dunfennline family and 
Dalgety may here be appropriately referred to. In the 
notice of that parish in the * Old Statistical Account of 
Scotland,' published in 1795, it is stated that "the Earl 
of Dunfermline's seat formerly stood at a little distance 

* There seems to be some error in the transcription of this passage. 

* The following reference to the funeral occurs in a short notice of the Chan- 
cellor contained in a curious account of the Seton family, prefixed to a printed 
petition by ** Joannes de Sitonis de Scotia," an Italian advocate, for admission 
into the College of Milan, in the year 1703, of which a copy is in my posses- 
sion : " Tant(un iusticiso ac integritatis famam adeptus est, vt morientis funus 
luctu publico omatum fuerit." 


from the Church of Dalgety, but little of it now remains ; " 
while Sir Robert Sibbald speaks of Dalgatie, " the dwelling 
of the Lord Yester — now the property of the Earl of 
Murray" — as having been "repaired and beautified with 
gardens by Chancellor Seton, Earl of Dunfennline, who 
lies interred in the church there." ^ The lands of Dalgety 
were acquired by President Seton, in 1593, from William 
Abemethie, " son and heir of the late William Abemethie 
of Dalgety ; " ^ and the following year, the relative charter 
was subscribed at Dalgety by Ludovick, Duke of Lennox. 
In 1597, John, Lord Saltoun, the superior, confirmed the 
charter; and by procuratory of resignation, dated 27th 
April 1604, he resigned the lands into the King's hands 
for new infeftment in favour of President Seton, then 
Lord Fyvie. 

The ruinous church of Dalgety, with its ivy-covered 
walls, forms a striking feature in a very picturesque district 
on the southern shores of Fife. Surrounded by a group 
of venerable trees within the spacious grounds of Doni- 
bristle, it stands so close to the waters edge that the 
refrain of the waves must have blended, in days of yore, 
with the choral service of the little sanctuary.^ Originally 

^ History of Fife and Kinross, p. 302. 

* A mural slab, on the north wall of Dalgety Church, bearing a shield of 
arms — Abemethy and Moultrie quarterly — commemorates " ane honorabil man 
callit William Abemethe of Dagati quhilk deit yis yer of God 1540." 

' The murder of the " Bonnie Earl o' Murray," in 1592, took place among 
the rocks below Donibristle Houso, and in the immediate vicinity of the old 
church of Dalgety. The death-blow is said to have been struck by Gordon of 
Buckie, while Huntly added a gash across the victim's face, and was told by 
the dying man that he had spoilt a better countenance than his own ! 


14G THE chancellor's VAULT. 

the site of a Culdee cell, a church is known to have occu- 
pied the position of the present dilapidated fabric as eariy 
as the close of the twelfth century — ^the " church of Dal- 
gathin with its pertinents," dedicated to St Brigid, having 
been confirmed to the adjoining monastery of Inchcolm, by 
a bull of Pope Alexander III., in the year 1178. The 
existing walls bear traces of having been constructed at 
different dates, and present a strange conglomeration of 
ecclesiastical and domestic architecture. The church pro- 
per constitutes the eastern portion of the ruin, while the 
remainder of the structure consists of a vault below two 
adjoining apartments, and is supposed to have been erected 
by Chancellor Seton towards the end of the sixteenth cen- 
tury. One of these apartments, with beautiful stone panel- 
lings, is open to the church ; and in the year 1649, the 
Chancellor's widow, then Countess of Calendar and " lyfren- 
trix off Daigetie," incurred the displeasure of the Kirk- 
Session for placing " idolatrous and superstitious images in 
the glasse windows." She was ordered to remove them, 
and to put " no novelties upone her loft [gollery] till the 
presbytric be acquainted with it." The arms of Chancellor 
Seton were blazoned on the " loft " in question, and onlj^ 
disappeared after the church was unroofed in 1830.^ 

In the year 1822, the workmen then engaged in repair- 
ing the Church were authorised to make a search in the 
vault which was believed to contain the remains of the 

* One of the last sermons preached in the old church of Dalgety was from 
the eloquent lips of the Rev. Edwanl Irving, while paying a ^isit in the 


Chancellor; and in the course of their explorations, six 
leaden coffins were discovered, of which one was eight feet 
in length. From the inscriptions which three of them bore, 
they were recognised to be those of the Chancellor, his third 
wife "Dame Margreta Haye, Countess of Dunfermling 
and Calendar" (who died 30th December 1659, "setatis 
suae 67 "-—the same age as her husband),^ and his grandson, 
Alexander, third Earl of Dunfermline. A metal plate on 
the Chancellor's coffin bore the following inscription : — 

" Alexander Setonius, Fermelinoduni Comes, Scotiae Cancellarius, 
Obiit 67 anno iEtatis su®, 16 June 1622." 

From the statement on the coffin of the third Earl, it ap- 
peared that he died at the early age of thirty-three, shortly 
after the death of his father, Charles, second Earl, in 1672. 
The third Earl must haye been a man of large stature, as his 
skeleton was found to measure about six feet five inches.^ 

In the year 1662, a poem was printed at Edinburgh, by 
the heirs of Andrew Hart, entitled * Teares for the neuer 
sufficientlie bewailed death of the late right honourable and 
most worthie of all honourable titles Alexander, Earle of 

* " 1660, Jan. — The Lady CaUendar, the E. of Dumfermling's mother, de- 
parted out of this life at Dalgety in Fyfe, and was interred Jan. 20, in the day 
time, att Dalgety. (The said Dumfennlings owne lady, wha depairted out of 
this life at Fyuie in the north, was interred at Dalgety likewyse, some few 
months before.") — Diary of John Lamont of Newton, p. 119. 

* Some of these particulars are embraced in a memorandum relative to the 
opening of the vault, which the author received in 1851 from the late Mr John 
Philipps, chamberlain to the Earl of Moray. The attribute of lofty stature 
has for centuries been a characteristic of the Seton family. — See Chambers's 
Popular Rhymes of Scotland, 1870, pp. 316, 401. 

K^ it rt^^ A T*™« >» 


Dumfermeling, Lord Fyuie and Vrquhart, late Lord Chan- 
cellar of Scotland.' It was reprinted by the Bannatyne Club 
in 1823, under the editorship of Mr James Maidment, advo- 
cate, who conjectures that the author was John Lyoun of 
Auldbar, only son of Sir Thomas Lyoun, better known in 
Scottish history as the " Tutor of Glanmiis." The following 
passage occurs towards the beginning of the Lament : — 

" Come euerie Age, Estate, and Sexe, come all, 
Come and bewaile this statelie Cedars falL 
Come all wrong'd Orphanes, come bewaile your syre, 
Wlio did of late (but yet too soone) eipyre, 
Come woefull widowes, come you, weepe you fast, 
Your Anchor, and your hope, your helpe is past 
Rich Burgers you of whom hee once was chiefe, 
With teares bewray vnto the world your griefe, 
You at the Barre who pleade your clients cause, 
Moume that ye want the ludge that judged your Lawes, 
Graue learned ludges all burst foorth in mone. 
Your Light, your Lanteme and your guide is gont», 
State-ruling Peeres, true pillers of the Crowne, 
Fit for Bellonay or the peaceful gowne. 
Helpe to be-waile that euer-famous Lord, 
Whose noble partes nobilitie decor'd : 
The heauens themselues as mumers doe prepare, 
With signes of sorrow to increase our care. 
For when hee dy'd, the heauens on eaith did powre, 
Greiu'd at his death, of teares a liberall showre." 

The poem is dedicated to ** Dame Beatrix Ruthven, Ladie 
Coldenknowes," daughter of the first Earl of Gowrie and 
ancestress of the Earl of Home. It embraces some highly 
classical allusions to the Chancellor's residence abroad in 
search of knowledge, and grandiloquent encomiums on 
his "judgement, wit, and art," his impartial dispensa- 
tion of justice, and his devotion to the "common-good." 

THE chancellor's SUCCESSOR. 149 

Appended to the Lament are a few lines entitled " Lifes 
vncertaintie," which possess considerable merit. 

Lord Dunfermline's successor in the office of Chancellor 
was Sir George Hay, Lord Clerk Register (afterwards Earl 
of KjnnouU), who, according to Calderwood, " happened to 
be at Court when Chancellor Seton departed. So the 
Bishop of St Andrews," he continues, "a proud aspiring 
prelate,^ and sundrie others, were disappointed." Hay 
successfully vindicated the right of the Chancellor to pre- 
cede the Archbishop at the coronation of Charles L : — 

" On the morning of the coronation day," says Crawfurd, " the 
King sent the Lord Lyon, Sir James Balfour, with a message to 
the Lord Chancellor, signifying that it was his Majesty's plea- 
sure that the Archbishop of St Andrews should precede his Lord- 
ship only at the ceremony of that day ; to which. Sir James tells 
us, the Chancellor gave this brisk and resolute answer, that * since 
his Majesty had been pleased to continue him in that office, 
which his worthy father of happy memory had conferred on him, 
he was ready, in all humility, to lay it at his Majesty's feet. 
But since it was his royal will he should enjoy it, with the 

known privileges pertaining to the office, never a priest in 

Scotland should set a foot before him as long as his blood was 
hot.' Sir James having related the Chancellor's answer, the 
King dropped the matter, and said no more but 'Well then, 
Lyon, let us go to business ; I will meddle no further with that 
old, cankered, goutish man, at whose hands there is nothing to be 
gained but sour words.' " * 

* The " proud aspiring prelate " ultimately became ChanceUor, on the death 
of Loi-d Kinnoull in 163^ 

2 Lives of the Scottish Officei-s of State, p. 159. 




fllHE Eaxl of Dunfermline was thrice married, his first 
"^ wife being Liliaa, second daughter of Patrick, third 
Lord Drummond, and sister of James, first Earl of Perth, 
who married Lady Isabel Seton, only daughter of Robert, 
first Earl of Winton, and niece of Lord Dunfermline. By 
this marriage he had five daughters :- 

1. Lady Anne, married to Alexander, Viscount Fentoun, 
only son of Thomas, first Earl of Kellie, who predeceased 
his father. 

2. Lady Isabel — commemorated in Arthur Johnston's 
poems — married to John, first Earl of Lauderdale (only son 
of Chancellor Maitland, Lord Thirlstane), by whom she was 
mother of the celebrated John, Duke of Lauderdale.^ 

* In Sinclair's dedication of his Satan's Invisible World to George, fourth Earl 
of Winton, there is a ciirious allusion to two of Chancellor Seton's distinguished 
grandchildren ; " that matchless hero, John Duke of Lauderdale, and John Earl 
of Twetlle, both of them, as was said of Julius Ca98ar and Cato, Ingenti virtuU, 
men of most eminent parts and endowments. 

Fortes creantor fortibus, et bonis 

Est in juvencis, est in equis patrum 
Virtus : nee imbellem feroces 

Progenerant aquilse columbam. '' 



3. Lady Margaret (I.), who died in iufancy. 

4. Lady Margaret (II.), married to Colin, first Earl of 
Seaforth, by whom she had Lady Anna Mackenzie, suc- 
cessively Countess of Balcarres and Countess of Argyll, of 
whom a very interesting Memoir appeared in 1868 from 
the pen of Lord Lindsay, afterwards Earl of Crawford. 

5. Lady Sophia, married to David, first Lord Lindsdy of 
Balcarres, ancestor of the Earls of Crawford. 

Lord Dunfermline married, secondly, Grizel Leslie, fourth 
daughter of James, Master of Rothes, and sister of John, 
sixth Earl of Rothes,^ by whom he had a son, Charles (I.), 
who died young, and two daughters, (1) Lady Lilias, who died 
unmarried, and (2) Lady Jean, married to John, eighth Lord 
Yester (afterwards Earl of Tweeddale), by whom she was 
mother of the first Marquess of Tweeddale.^ In an amus- 
ing letter to his friend. Sir Robert Kerr of Ancram, relative 
to his contemplated marriage, dated 3d April 1621, Lord 
Yester thus refers to his future wife : " As for my Lord 
Chancellor his daughter, I sweare I haue nothing to mislyk 
of hir, for shee is ane very comely wenche, and may be a 
wyfe to the beste in the kingdome. I am als neir to him 
already as when I have matched with his daughter,^ nor 

* From the record of the Testaments Dative of Dames Lilias Drummond and 
Grizel Leslie, successively Countesses of Dunfermline, it appears that the fonner 
died « in the Phvce of Dalgatie in Fyff," 8th May 1601, and the latter on the 
6th of September 1606. It further appears that the " Vtencilis and Domicilis, 
with the omamentis of thair bodies, goldsmyth and siluer wark, jewellis, and 
abulyiementis," were respectively estimated at 6(XX) merks and £10,000 Scoti*. 
— Commissariot of Edinburgh Testaments, 1609. 

2 See page 154. 

3 An allusion to the Chancellor's third wife, who was Loixl Yester's sister. 

152 THE chancellor's THIRD WIFE. 

meane I to many without his approbation, so by that 
means I shall not rune hazarde losse his freindshj^e." ^ 

Lord Dunfermline's third wife was the Hon. Margaret 
Hay, sister of the aforesaid John, eighth Lord Tester (who 
married secondly, in 1633, James, Lord Almond, afterwards 
Earl of Calendar*), by whom he had a son, Charles (H.),^ 
second Earl of Dunfermline, and two daughters : — 

1. Lady Grizel, " a brave lady, who lived to a good age, 
but would never marrie, though she had noble suitors, — the 
Earle of Sutherland and the Lord Lindsay, afterward Earle 
of Crawford." * 

2. Lady Mary, who died young. 

The baptisms of three of Lord Dunfermline's daughters 
by LiUas Drummond are entered in the Edinburgh Kegis- 
ter, the date of the earliest (Margaret, who appears to have 
died in infancy) being 16th June 1596. On the assump- 
tion that his eldest daughter, Anne (married in 1610), was 
bom in 1593, the date of his^r^^ marriage was probably 
1592 — the year before he became President of the Court of 
Session, when he was thirty-seven years of age. In Wood's 
edition of Douglas's * Peerage of Scotland,' his daughter 
Lilias, baptised in November 1602, is given as the youngest 
daughter of his first wife ; but as the date of his contract 
of marriage to Grizel Leslie (of which the original is in the 

* Correspondence of the Earls of Ancram and Lothian, i. 18. 

* Tliird son of Alexander Livingstone, first Earl of Linlithgow— created Lord 
Almond in 1633, and advanced to the Earldom of Calendar in 1641. 

^ It will be observed that both of the Chancellor's sons bore the Christian 
name of CliarleSy probably in honour of his royal pupil, the Duke of York. 

* Continuation of the History of the House of Scytoun, p. 65. 



possession of the Countess of Rothes), is 27th October 1601, 
it is evident that Lilias must have been the eldest child of 
his second wife, and that she was named after her mother's 
predecessor in the Chancellor's aflfections. Lady Jean, his 
youngest child by Grizel Leslie, was twelve years of age 
in 1618, and must therefore have been bom about 1606. 
Accordingly, the year 1607 may reasonably be assigned as 
the date of the Chancellor's third marriage, seeing that the 
baptisms of his two daughters by Margaret Hay appear in 
the Dunfermline Register under the years 1609 and 1611 
respectively.^ Their only brother, Charles, second Earl of 
Dunfermline, was probably bom in 1608. From the terms of 
one of the Chancellor's letters to his friend John Murray, it 
would appear that ^fourth child must have been borne by 
his third wife, towards the end of November 1615. 

The Table on the following page exhibits the various 
intermarriages between the families of Hay and Seton in 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries : — 

* The foUowing may be given as specimens of the entries in the Edinburgh 
and Dunfermline Baptismal Registers respectively : — 

" 8 August 1599. Alex'- Seatoun Lord Fyvie President Prouest of Ed'* a 
d. n. Margaret W. Robert Lord Seatoun Alex'- M'- Elphingstoun Lord Thes- 
aurer and four baillics James Forman WiUiam Hammiltoun Johne Moresone 
Johne Lowrie." 

" December 1609. The 26 day ane noble and potent Lord Alex'- Elarle of 
Dunfmlyne and heiche chanceler of Scotland had ane woman chyld borne to 
him of his Lady dame Margaret Hay baptized and callit Grisole." 















1 I 






























— ^ 












c8 i 



THE chancellor's TESTAMENT. 155 

By his " Letter-will," Lord Dunfennline left his nephew, 
George, third Earl of Winton, sole tutor to his son Charles 
(who was about fourteen years of age at the time of his 
father's death), and the Earl " keeped him and his sister 
(Lady Grizel), and their servantts, in his house, free gratis, 
all the years of his tutory."^ Lord Kingston adds that 
the Earl of Winton, having paid out of the estate 30,000 
merks as a portion to the young Earl's half-sister Jean 
(Lady Yester), and the same sum to his ftdl sister Lady 
Grizel (which she left to her brother at her death), " at the 
expiry of the tutory, gave, likeways, to the said Charles, 
Earle of Dumfermeline, 10,000 merks gold of the superplus 
of his rent, which soume he consigned in the face of the 
lords of session, Chancellour Hay being present. This the 
said George, Earle of Winton, did the 4 (?) years he was 
his tutor, though Dumfermlines mother liferented 20,000 
merks yearly, with the house of Pinky and Dalgaty ; yet 
he left him, at the expyring of the said tutory, the estate 
free of all debt whatsomever, with all his Jewells and silver 
plate, which were considerable great, with the household 
furniture, and all other moveables whatsomever." 

The holograph " Testament testamentar and Inventor of 
the guidis, geir, sowmes of money, dettis etc. of Alexander, 
Erie Dumfermling, Lord Fyvie and Vrquhart, heich chan- 
cellour of Scotland, quha deceist vpon y* xvj day of Junij, 
y« yeir of God 1622 yeiris," dated at Holyroodhouse 4th 
March 1620, with codicil dated at Pinkie 12th June 1622 
(four days before the Testator's death), and recorded 30th 

^ Continuation of the Histon' of the House of Seytoun, p. 65. 



September 1625, occupies about fifteen closely written folio 
pages of the Register.^ It bears to have been partly given 
up by the Testator, and partly by George, Earl of Winton, 
" tutor lawful to Lord Chairles Seytoune, minor, only law- 
full son of the defunct." The Testament begins with the 
usual references to the uncertainty of life and to the Testa- 
tor's weakness of body but health of mind, and provides 
for his burial, by his honourable and nearest friends, « far 
alwayis frome all pompe and gloriositie qlk all y* knowis me 
may know I never lykit. Of the place of my rest, I wis 
to be in 3^* littil ile biggit be myself at j^ kirk of my hous 
at Dagatie." He leaves all his moveable goods and gear 
to his only son Charles, successor to his lands and heri- 
tages, and constitutes him his general executor and lega- 
tory. After stating that several of his children are likely 
to be under pupillarity at the time of his death, he ap- 
points, as their tutors, his "nobill Lord and Cheiff," his 
nephew George, Earl of Winton, and failing him, his 
brother, Alexander, Earl of Eglinton, and his own brother. 
Sir William Seton, " albeit he be aire narrest to me efter 
my sone, be tailzie and provisioune maid be myself;" and 
alludes to the friendly feeling which had always prevailed 
among the different members of his House, as all " cumbit 
of ane stok." " This," he says, " is a portioune of folische 
warldlie caire qlk we haue labourit to put togidder and 
faschioune as in a mase, baithe land and geir, studdie 
how to sattill y* samyne to our posteritie as a memorie of 
us and as gif thairby we miclit mak ourself in sumo degrie 

^ Comiiiissariot of Edinburgh, vol. 53 — H. M. Gen. Register House. 


immortall as consettit \conceived\ qlk I thank God I 
thocht euer baith idle and vaine. I nather think nor 
expect immortalitie nor rest in vther nor in God." 

The codicil ratifies the bonds granted by the Testator in 
favour of his two daughters, Ladies Jean and Grizel, as a 
provision for their marriages — £20,000 to the former, and 
20,000 merks to the latter; and after alluding to his 
" nobill freindis," the curators named in the bonds, he pro- 
ceeds as follows : "As euer thay profesit love to me or 
wishis y^ almichtie God to grant his blissing to thame and 
thairs that thay haue speciall caire of thair guid educacione 
and to be provydit hon"* to guid matches conforme to thair 
estaitis." He further authorises the curators, with the 
advice of his brother Sir William Seton, to increase the 
sums in the bonds, if necessary or expedient, with the view 
of procuring suitable unions, expressing a hope that his 
son ** Lord Chairles, bot now of tender yeiris, as he will 
deserve my blissing," will not suflfer the marriages to be 
delayed for the additional payment of " fyve, sex, aucht, or 
ten thowsand merkis, or pundis vsuall Scottis money." He 
desires the Earl of Winton to undertake the charge of 
his son and his daughter Lady Jean, recommending the 
" vertuous vpbringing " of the former " in lettres and other- 
wayis, according to his estait and ranke." In the case of 
the other daughter, he leaves it to his "bedfallow hir 
mother " to determine whether or not she is to be brought 
up by herself or by Lord Winton. He directs Lord 
Winton and his brother Sir William Seton to complete 
certain additions and alterations at Pinkie " intendit and 


begune " by himself, in accordance with the relative plans ; 
and in giving instructions regarding the preparation of 
inventories of his moveables, he refers to Alexander Inglis 
of Eottenraw,^ his " servand," and Mr James Raithe, his 
" secritaire." 
/ From the subjoined excerpt from the "Inventar," it 

/ would appear that the Chancellor possessed a number of 

valuable jewels (including upwards of 500 diamonds), as 
well as a liberal supply of silver plate. The particidars 
relative to his tapestry, and the wardrobes of his " tua first 
ledies," will, no doubt, be duly appreciated by lady readers. 
/ A list of the books in the libraries at Pinkie and Fyvie — 

valued at £1333, 6s. 4d. — would have been very inter- 





Followis y® goldsmith wark and jowellis by 

[over and above] y* airschipe viz. tua gold 

cheinzes [chains] weyand ane pund seviii 

vnce and xv drope wecht at xxxiiij lib. 

y® vnce wecht, summa, . . . vij*^lxxxiiij" 

Item, tua carcattis [necklaces] of gold set w* 

Ixv diamondis Ixxx rubies thrie imrodis 

[emeralds] and j°xxj orientall pearle 

estimat baith to, . . jn^y®" 

* See Retours, Co. of Edinburgh, November 3, 1640. 

' Not many years ago, tbe fine collection of Mr James Gibson-Craig con- 
tained a solitary volume entitled Discours Clirestiens de la Divinity, la Crea- 
tion, etc., par M. Pierre Charron, Paris, 1604, and bearing the book-stamp of 
Lord Dunfennline, which cannot now be found. Fortunately, a careful rubbing 
of the stamp was taken by Mr Henry Laing, author of the weU-known Catalogues 
of Ancient Scottish Seals, from which an accurate reproduction has been made 
for the cover of this Memoir. — See also end of Preface. 


Tteyn, tnsi hornis [tags or 'poiiUs*] of gold set 

w^ Ixxvij diamondis and tua rubies esti- 

mat baith to, .... . j°*iiij*^xl" 

Item, iine Jewell callit Orpheus^ haueing xx 

diamondis and xv rubies estimat to, . j™v*^lx" 
fteni, ane ^mir of gold garnischingis [jewelled 

hat-hands or rMoris?] contening xxxiiij 

buttonis set w* diamondis rubies and 

pearle estimat to, ... . ix^lxxxxvj" 

Iteni, ane suane of gold set w* xl diamondis tua 

rubies and ane pearle estimat to, . . vj** " 

Ttem, ane cros of gold ane agatt set in gold 

ane borke [bodkin] of gold ane cingnie 

[signet ?] of gold ane pair of gold brais- 

lettis ane gold pyketuithe ane orientall 

topaze set all w* ane hundreth xxxvj 

diamondis xxviij rubies xviij pearle xij 

opallis and iiij emeraldis estimat to . ij™viij^ " 
Itevi, xxj diamond ringis set w* tua hundreth 

sevin diamondis estimat all to, . . vj"*i^xx^* 

Item, ane rubie and sapheir set in (ane) griph- 

ono [tlie Seton Crest] estimat to, . . iij^lx" 

Item, ane portrat of y* Virgine Marie and tua 

of y* ordour of Sanct George in gold 

estimat to, . . . j^'* 

(£16,360) xvj°^iiflx^*^ 

^ The following description of a valuable royal jewel, bearing the name of 
" H," occurs in the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, under the date 
30th September 1594. "Ane Jewell callit the H., single onlic, with the grite 
diamont in the middis of the same H., and ane small chenzie of gold of tua 
inche lang, all weyand ane vnce and halff ane vnce wecht, wanting tuelf 
granes." This Jewell was given in pledge by James VI. to Thomas Fonllis for 
the loan of ;£12,(XX) Scots, and retumeil to his Majesty on the repayment of the 
money, 13th January 1597-8. It may perhaps have been a gift to the King's 
great-grandfather, James IV. from his brother-in-law, Henry VIII. 




Followis y® siluer plait by y* airschipe : — 
Item, veschell trincheouris baseinis laweris 

coupis saltfattis [salt-cellars] maiseris 

[bowls] spunes and vther silver wark gilt 

partiall gilt and plane extending to ix 

staine fy ve pund xv vnce and sevin drope 
. wecht price of y** vnce wecht iij"^ 

summa, . (£7198, 7s. Od.) vij^j^lxxxxviij" vij 
Ite7)i,xxY peice of tapestrie by y® airschipe 

portrat and forrest warke xxiiij peice gilt 

ledder tapestrie w* ane hundretli Ixxx 

ellis of domik hingingis^ estimat all 

to, . . . (£1132, 6s. 4d.) 

Iteni, his Librarie in Pinkie and Fy vie by the 

airschipe estimat to, (£1333, 6s. 4d.) j°*iij®xxxiij" vj' iiij 
Item, standing in y® wairdrope of Pinkie ane 

coflTer q'in is sevin gowinis waskeines 

[ba^sq^ies, or skirts] traynes imbrouderit 

satenis and clethe of tischew qlkis per- 

tenit to y* said vmq^® nobill eries tua 

first ledies estimat to, . . . ,\ 
Item, in vtenceillis domiceillis w* y® abulye- f 

mentis * of his bodie and armour by y® j 

airschipe estimat to, , . (£4000)/ v™ m^ks 

j"/xxxij" VJ* UIJ* 

j" mtrks 

(£30,023, 198. 8d.) 


xxx"xxiij" xix* vnj*^ 

Notwithstanding the second Earl's succession to so flour- 
ishing an estate, Scotstarvet states that " a few years after 

* Curtains made of a species of linen cloth deriving its name from Doomick, 
in Flanders, from which it was probably first imported. — See Francisque- 
Michers CiviHsation in Scotland (1882), p. 53. 

* Clothing — a terra derived from the French word habUyevnent or habiliment, 
—Ibid., p. 69. 

' The sum of the entire Inventory amounts to X43,959, lOs. 2d. ; and, includ- 
ing the debts due to the deceased (;£11,797, 13s. 4d.), to ^55,757, 38. 6d. 

THE chancellor's WIDOW. 161 

his majority, by playing and other inordinate spending, all 
was comprised from him; and when he was debarred by 
promise to play at no game, he devised a new way to elude 
his oath, by wagering with any one who was in his com- 
pany, who should draw the longest straw out of a stack 
with the most grains of com thereon."^ 

From the decisions collected by Gibson of Durie, it ap- 
pears that the Earl was greatly harassed, during the earlier 
portion of his life, by a series of lawsuits at the instance of 
his mother, then Countess of Calendar, which may have 
had something to do with his financial difficulties. The 
merest glance at her portrait at Yester suggests the idea of 
a woman of determination and force of character. I have 
already noticed her conduct, in 1649, in connection with 
the erection of "idolatrous and superstitious images" in 
the church of Dalgety ; and the same year, the following 
entry occurs in the records of that parish relative to another 
misdemeanour: "June 17, 1649. The Sessione consider- 
ing how scandalous to the Lord's people it is my Ladie 
Calendar her tarreing at home upone the Lordis day and 
not coming to the kirk, appoynts the minister and ane 
elder to goe to her and admonish her." The result of the 
enjoined admonition does not appear in the Register. As 
previously stated, she died ten years afterwards, at the 
close of the year 1659, at the same age (sixty-seven) as her 
first husband the Chancellor, whom she accordingly sur- 

^ Staggering State of Scots Statesmen, p. 17. A good many of Scotstarvet'a 
statements must be accepted cum grano, A recent writer, in referring to him, 
speaks of his " accustomed malignity.^' 



vived for the long period of thirty-seven years. It would 
therefore appear that she was bom about 1592, and that, 
at the time of her marriage in 1607, she must have been 
little more than fifteen years of age — a good example of an 
alliance between June and December ! ^ By a letter from 
Charles I., dated 4th June 1635, when the Chancellor's 
widow was Lady Almond, she was allowed " to retaine the 
place dew to her as Countess of Dumfermline." 

The second Earl of Dunfermline appears to have taken 
an active part in pubUc aflFairs, during the reigns of Charles 
I. and XL He was frequently at the English Court with 
the former, to whom he acted as gentleman of the bed- 
chamber ; on more than one occasion, commanded a regi- 
ment in the Scots army ; and was appointed by Charles II. 
to the office of Lord Privy Seal, which he held at the time 
of his death, in the year 1672.^ In 1637, the Bailiary and 
Justiciary of Dunfermline were conferred upon him by 
royal charter, the offices being subsequently ratified by the 

* Such unions were not very uncommon in the 16th and 17th centuries. No 
less a man than John Knox, when he had reached the mature age of fifty-nine, 
married a second wife in the person of ^^ a Lords daughter, a young lass not 
above sixteen (seventeen) years of age." — See Stevenson's Familiar Studies of 
Men and Books, p. 392. 

* He died at Seton House, and " was noblie interred att his burial place in 
Dalgaty." — Continuation of the History of the House of Seytoun, p. 67. 

In the charter-room at Fyvie Castle, there is an interesting collection of 
about thirty documents relating to public transactions between 1640 and 1670, 
in which the second Earl of Dunfermline bore an important part ; including 
letters and instructions from Charles I., the negotiations between Charles II. 
and the Commissioners of the Scotch Estates at Breda, and the gift of the 
Privy Seal of Scotland. In the same repository, there are numerous import- 
ant papers connected with his father, the Chancellor. 


Scottish Parliament in 1641. According to Scotstarvet, 
the yearly value of the Abbacy of Dunfermline, of which 
he got a three nineteen years' "tak" from Charles L, was 
20,000 pounds Scots (about £1660 sterling) ; "and in that 
space," he adds, " if he shall happen to bruik [enjoy] it, it 
will amount to 1,100,000 merks." 

Contrary to the ecclesiastical traditions of his family, he 
sided with the Covenanters, and signed the National Cove- 
nant at Dunfermline in 1638. He acted as Commissioner 
to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which 
met at St Andrews in July 1642. After the execution of 
Charles I. in 1649, he went to Holland to attend upon 
Charles XL, with whom he returned to Scotland the follow- 
ing year. He was sworn a Privy Councillor at the Restora- 
tion in 1660, and nine years later was appointed an Extra- 
ordinary Lord of Session. In 1664, the Rev. Andrew 
Donaldson, minister of Dalgety, who had joined the pro- 
testing party in the Church, was ejected for not conforming 
to Episcopacy. His generous benefactor. Lord Dunferm- 
line, who happened to be in London at the time, succeeded 
in obtaining a warrant from the King reponing Donaldson 
in his charge, but this was afterwards revoked through 
the instrumentality of Archbishop Sharp. His successor 
in the living, with the sympathy and concurrence of 
Lord Dunfermline, permitted him to reside, for many 
years, in the apartments in Dalgety church already re- 
ferred to, where his daily wants were supplied by his 
former parishioners. Donaldson subsequently lived at 
Inverkeithing, and after the Revolution of 1688, he was 


restored by Act of Parliament to his old position of parish 
minister of Dalgety. 

Lord Dunfermline's public services are narrated in an 
" Act of exoneration and approbation " in his favour (22d 
September 1641), which declares that he " heath in all 
integritie diligence and wisdome above his yeires from the 
first begining of the pacification to the cloising thereof 
walked woorthie of so great trust • . . and therfor his 
Ma**® and Estates of Parlia* . . . doe honno' him w* 
this ther nationall testimony that he hath deserved weel 
of the publict as a loyall subject to the King, a faithfull 
servant to the Estates of Parlia*, and a true patriot to 
his cuntrie." 

After alluding to the ecclesiastical vacillation of Lauder- 
dale, Bishop Guthry remarks that " the Earl of Dunferm- 
line, in his way, went somewhat near to the other. His 
worthy father had been, by King James, preferred to be 
Chancellor of Scotland, and Earl of Dunfermline, and had 
also this honour, that King Charles, being then Duke of 
Albany, was, in his infancy, educated in his family, upon 
which reasons his Majesty carried with more than ordin- 
ary affection to this Earl of Dunfermline, his son, and 
of late gifted him, for his lifetime, the revenue of the 
lordship of Dunfermline, reckoned to be about £1000 
sterling per annum; yet notwithstanding thereof, was 
he so forward in the cause (of the Covenanters), that 
he had ever been chosen for the prime commissioner in 
all the applications they made to his Majesty, which was 
a trust they would not have put upon any, anent whom 


they had not a certain persuasion that he was fixed that 
way." ' 

Although the second Earl of Dunfermline appears to have 
entered warmly into the earlier movements of the Covenant- 
ers, he is said to have gradually veered round to the side of 
the Royalists. Possibly his marriage to Lady Mary Douglas, 
third daughter of William, seventh Earl of Morton — a, de- 
voted Royalist — may have helped to bring about the change. 

Besides other daughters, who appear to have died young 
or unmarried, he had Lady Henrietta (Grizel?), married 
first to William, fifth Earl of Wigton, and secondly to Wil- 
liam, eighteenth Earl of Crawford, and three sons : — 

1. Charles, Lord Fyvie, bom 1640, killed in a sea-fight 
against the States of Holland in 1672. 

2. Alexander, third Earl of Dunfermline. 

3. James, fourth Earl. 

Alexander, the eldest surviving son, bom 1642, became 
third Earl of Dunfermline at his father s death, in the year 
1672, and died at Edinburgh, about two years afterwards, 
at the age of 33, when he was succeeded by his younger 
brother James, as fourth Earl of Dunfermline. Lord King- 
ston states that the fourth Earl was left by his father and 
brother in considerable debt, '* but, by his vertuous wise 
carriage, hes extricat himselfe of the greatest part of that 
trouble ; and by his good and wise manadgment, not only 
preserves, but improves his estate, to his great commenda- 
tion and honour." * 

^ Memoirs of Scottish Affairs, second edition, p. 111. 

* Continuation of the History of the House of Seytoun, p. 68, 


Among other interesting epitaphs at Dalgety Church, 
the following quaint inscription, on a granite slab, sur- 
mounted by a shield of arms, at the western end of the 
Dunfermline vault, commemorates Robert Meikle, a faithful 
servant of the fourth Earl : — 




DIEM . OBnT . 29 . SEPTBMT : 1685 

iBTATIS . 45. 




In his younger days, the fourth Earl served in several 
memorable expeditions with the Prince of Orange. He 
attached himself to the cause of James VII., and com- 
manded a troop of horse, under Viscount Dundee, at the 
battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. Dundee thus refers to 
him in a letter to the Earl of Melfort, dated "Moy of 
Lochaber, June 27, 1689." "Earl of Dunfermling stays 
constantly with me, and so does Lord Dunkell, Pitcur, 
and many other gentlemen, who really deserve well, for 
they suflfer great hardships." ^ In a MS. in the Advocates' 
Library, entitled * Pourtrait of True Loyalty,' it is stated 
that Lord Dundee waited at the cairn of Mounth till Mac- 
kay was within eight miles, and then marched back to- 
wards Gordon Castle, where he was joined by the Earl of 

^ Letters of John Qrahame of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, p. 50. — Ban. 
Club, 1826. 


Dunfennline (the Duke of Gordon's brother-in-law), and 
forty or fifty gentlemen, chiefly vassals of the Duke, who 
was obliged to remain in Edinburgh to defend the Castle. 

Lord Dunfermline's social position and military reputa- 
tion were such that, after the death of Dundee, he would 
have received the command but for the unwelcome com- 
mission produced by Colonel Cannon. In referring to 
Killiecrankie, Macaulay states that, half an hour after his 
gallant leader fell from a stroke of a musket-ball, ** Lord 
Dunfermline and some other friends came to the spot, and 
thought they could still discern some faint remains of life, 
when the body, wrapped in two plaids, was carried to the 
Castle of Blair." Outlawed and forfeited by Parliament 
in 1690, Lord Dunfermline followed the King to St Ger- 
mains,^ where he died without issue four years afterwards, 
about the age of fifty. He married Lady Jean, third 
daughter of Lewis, third Marquess of Huntly, and sister of 
George, first Duke of Gordon. He is lauded by the author 
of * Praelium Gilliecrankianum ' in the following lines : — 

" Nobilis apparuit Fermilodunensis, 
Cujus in rebelles stringebatur ensis ; 
Nobilis et sanguine, nobilior virtute, 
Begi devotissimiis intus et in cute." 

From the deposition of Lieutenant John Nisbet, of 
Viscount Kenmure's regiment of foot, embraced in the 

' The foUowing letter relative to the fourth Earl of Dunfermline is given, from 
the " Denbigh Collection,** in the 7th Report of the Royal Conmiission on His- 
torical MSS. : " J'ai apris ce soir que my lord Dunferlin est arivde de Paris en 
Ecosse avec des armes quelque argent et quelques ofliciers pour tacher de re- 
veiUer le reste du party abatu." " 21^ Decembre, 1691, Vendi«iL" 



procc-ss of forfeiture against the repreasentatiTes of Lords 
Dundee and Dunfermline, it appears that "he saw the 
Earle of Dumfermling in armes after the fight at Kella- 
chranky . . . and being Interrogat of what stature 
and visage the sd. Earle wes, Depones he was a midle 
sized man, weel fauoured, and high-nased"^ It would 
seem, therefore, that the fourth Earl bore a strong resem- 
blance to his father, whose aquiline nose forms a very 
prominent feature in his medallion in the British Museum, 
as well as in his portrait at Yester. 

After the death of the fourth Earl of Dunfermline, 26th 
December 1694, the representation of the family appears to 
have devolved upon John Seton of Bams, great-grandson 
of Sir John Seton, first of Bams, the immediate elder 
brother of Chancellor Seton. John's son, Greorge Seton of 
Bams, who, in 1704, was served heir of his grandfather 
(also George Seton of Bams), married Anne, daughter of 
Sir George Suttie of Balgone, and sold the lands of Bams 
to the celebrated Colonel Charteris, in 1715. In a bond 
dated 29th June 1727, he is described as " George Seton, 
late of Bams, (dicuf Lord Dumfermling;" and in 1732, 
he appears to have resided in Haddington. His son. Colonel 
James Seton, Governor of St Vincent, married Susan, 
daughter of James Moray of Abercairney, and had a son, 
Lieutenant-Colonel James Seton, whose arms were recorded 
in the Lyon Register in 1806, and who appears to have 
been alive in 1842.- 

* AcU of the Parliament of Scotland, 1690, App. p. 56. 

* See Burke's General Armorv. 




T17E have already seen that Chancellor Seton's skill in 
' ' Architecture and Heraldry was displayed at a very 
early period; and of his devotion to both "sciences," he 
gave many practical illustrations during his later years. 
The following passage, from the pen of the lamented Dr 
Hill Burton, occurs under the notice of Pinkie House in 
the fourth volume of Billings's * Baronial and Ecclesiastical 
Antiquities of Scotland : ' "As this collection of illustra- 
tions has served to show, Scotland owes many of her 
architectural ornaments to the munificent taste of the 
family of Seton. They built Seton Church, and the 
Palace adjoining it, which has now disappeared. They 
built, according to their family historian, the old bridge 
of Musselburgh, which tradition makes a Roman work. 
That peculiar and beautiful structure, Winton House, was 
erected as a mansion for the head of the family.^ Lastly, 
Alexander Seton, Earl of Dunfermline, who added the 

^ Winton House was erected by George, third Earl of Winton, nephew of the 
Chancellor, who is elsewhere desciibed in Billings as " a magnificent builder." 


ornamental parts to Pinkie, was the same who got built 
for himself the even more stately and beautiful castle of 
Fyvie." ^ 

The estate of Fyvie, in the centre of the lowlands of 
Aberdeenshire, was acquired by the Prestons in 1390, and 
about 1440 by the Meldrums, from whom it appears to 
have been purchased by President Seton in 1596. A 
charter by Alexander II., confirming the church of Mel- 
drum to the monks of St Thomas at Arbroath, is dated at 
Fyvie (Fyuyn) on the 22d rf February 1221-2, and the 
castle of Fyvie — " Fynin chastel " — was one of the stages 
in the progress of Edward I. through Scotland in 1296. 

Of Gaelic etymology, the name is said to be derived 
from Fia Chein, signifying "Deer-hill," and there is a 
hiU in the parish which still bears that name. Towards 
the very end of the 14th century, the "Castel of Fivy" 
was gallantly defended by the " gud lady " of Sir James 
Lindsay, cousin of Kobert III., although "assegit straitly" 
by her undutiful nephew, Robert de Keith, son of the 
Marischal. The castle stands on the north-east bank of the 
Ythan, within an extensive park, containing a lake well 
stocked with fish, and some fine timber. The south-east 
wing, still called the " Preston Tower," is supposed to have 
been erected about 1400. In the south wing is " Seton 
Tower," with the arms of that family cut in freestone over 
the entrance. The old iron door still remains, formed of 
huge interlaced bars, and fastened by iron bolts drawn out 

* Three admirable engravings of Fjrvie, and two of Pinkie, are embraced in 
Billings's valuable work. 



of the wall on either side. Above the doorway is a large 
aperture called the "murder hole," through which un- 
bidden visitors, in former days, received a wann welcome, 
in the shape of a shower of molten lead. The south-west 
portion of the castle bears the name of " Meldrum Tower," 
in the base of which is an inaccessible chamber, with neither 
door nor window, supposed to have been formerly used as 
a place for concealing arms. The west wing is terminated 
on the north by a fourth tower, erected by the Hon. Gen- 
eral Gordon (second son of William, second Earl of Aber- 
deen), on the site of the ancient chapel. 

The present noble pile owes its most striking features 
to the good taste of Lord Dunfermline, who is believed to 
have called in the services of a French architect to beautify 
the towers of his northern abode. ^ It is generally regarded 
as one of the finest specimens of that domestic architecture 
for which the reign of James the Sixth is justly celebrated. 
" Its three princely towers, with their luxuriant coronet of 
coned turrets, sharp gables, tall roofs and chimneys, cano- 
pied dormer-windows, and rude statuary, present a sky 
outline at once graceful, rich, and massive, and in these 
qualities exceeding even the far-famed Glammis. The 
form of the central tower is peculiar and striking. It 
consists in appearance of two semi-round towers, with a 
deep curtain between them, retired within a round-arched 

* Among the iUustrations of a sumptuous work, by Victor Petit, on the Cas- 
tles of the valley of the Loire, published at Paris in 1861, is an engraving of 
the Chateau de Montsabert, erected during the 14th and 15th centuries, which 
bears a very striking resemblance to Fyvie. 

172 BACONS "perfect PALACE. 

recess of peculiar height and depth. The minor depart- 
ments of the building are profusely decorated with mould- 
ings, crockets, canopies, and statuary. The interior is in 
the same fine keeping with the exterior. . . . The 
great stair is an architectural triuiliph such as few Scottish 
mansions can exhibit; and it is so broad and so gently 
graduated as to justify a traditional boast that the laird's 
horse used to ascend it." ^ 

Some of the passages in the treatise on " Building." 
which first appeared in the enlarged edition of Bacon's 
* Essays' published in 1625 — the year before the learned 
author's death— axe so descriptive of the most prominent 
characteristics of F3rvie Castle, as to suggest the possibility 
of the English Chancellor having had the northern abode 
of his Scottish colleague in his eye when he penned them. 

"You cannot have a perfect Palace," he says, "except you 
have two several Sides ; a Side for the Banquet, as is spoken 
of in the Book of Hester ; and a Side for the Household : The 
one for Feasts and Triumphs, and the other for Dwelling. I 
understand both these Sides to be not only Eetums, but parts of 
the Front ; and to be uniform without, though severally parti- 
tioned within ; and to be on both sides of a great and stately 
Tower, in the midst of the Front ; that as it were joineth them 
together, on either hand. ... As for the Tower, I would 
have it two stories, of eighteen foot high apiece, above the two 
Wings ; and a goodly Leads upon the top, railed with Statues in- 
terposed ; and the same Tower to be divided into Booms, as shall 
be thought fit The Stairs likewise to the upper Booms, let 
them be upon a fair open Newel, and finely railed in, with 

* Billings' Antiquities of Scotland, vol. ii. 


Images of wood, cast into a brass colour : And a very fair Land- 
ing-place at the top." 

A charter granted to the third Earl of Dunfermline in 
1673, recites in the preamble that his father, grandfather, 
and their predecessors had the privilege of holding a weekly 
market on Thursday, and three annual fairs, on the lands 
of the manor-place of Fyvie, one on Fastem's Eve (Shrove 
Tuesday), another on St Peter's day (the first Tuesday of 
July), and the third on St Magdalene's day (the last Tuesday 
of the same month). The charter also erects the lordship 
of Fjrvie into " ane free burgh of Barony," and grants power 
to the Earl and his heirs to nominate bailies and magistrates 
for its government, to make a " tolbuith," and to execute 
justice on all committers of murder, theft, and other crimes, 
within the Umits of the burgh. The two annual fairs on 
Eastern's Eve and St Peter's day are still regidarly held 
and well frequented.^ 

The castle and surrounding domain are now the property 
of a branch of the family of Gordon, by whom they were 
BrCquired in 1726. Montrose is said to have passed a night 
at Fyvie Castle, which has a popular place in Scottish 
poetry, in connection with the loves of its valiant trumpeter, 
Andrew Lammie, and the " Mill o' Tiftie's Annie." 

" He hied him hame, and having spieled 
To the house-top of Fyvie, 
He blew his trumpet loud and shrill, 
Twas heard at MiU o' Tiftie." 

True to the legend, the figure of a trumpeter, springing 

* New Statistical Account of Scotland, Aberdeen, p. 330. 


174 THE chancellor's HERALDIC TASTE. 

from the sumniit of one of the castle turrets, still points his 
bugle towards his sweetheart's abode. 

While evidence of Chancellor Seton's taste for heraldry 
appears at both Pinkie and Dunfermline,^ his weakness for 
the " noble science " is most conspicuously displayed at 
Fyvie Castle. Both outside and inside, his family arms, 
impaled with those of his first wife,» occur in more than 
one position, in one instance accompanied by the date 1598 ; 
while his paternal coat is repeated at every turn of the 
great staircase, and in other parts of the interior. The 
charter-room is beautifuUy paneUed with crescents and 
cinquefoa^the principal 11^ in the Seton and Hamil- 
ton escutcheons — ^and exhibits, in two places, the Chancel- 
lor's monogram, which also occurs on the old entrance to 
the castle, already referred to as " Seton Tower." His 
family bearings, in the combined form, are blazoned on 

* A cinquefoil within a crescent, surmounted by an Earl's coronet and the 
date 1607, is sculptured on the outside of the south door of Dunfennline Abbey, 
and the same pretty design appears upon one of three seals of the Chan- 
cellor, described in Laing's Supplementary Catalogue of Scottish Seals, Nos. 
897-9. Two more of his seals are given in the first volume of the Catalogue, 
under Nos. 741 and 1099, making five in all ; of which four are engraved in this 
work. The full Dunfermline arms were blazoned on a board formerly aflixed 
to the front of the Earl's Gallery in the Abbey Church, and for some time pre- 
served in the interesting collection of antiquities formed by the father of Sir 
Noel Paton. — Chalmers's History of Dunfermline, i. 122. 

* Defter— or, on a fess, above three crescents within a double tressure flowered 
and counter-flowered gules, as many cinquefoils argent. Sinister — or, three 
bars waved gules (Drummond). The dexter coat is a combination of the Seton 
and Hamilton charges. The family afterwards carried a quarterly escutcheon — 
Ist and 4th or, three crescents within a double tressure flowered and counter- 
flowered gules — 2d and 3d argent, on a fess gules, three cinquefoils of the first 
— the crest being a crescent gules, with the motto " Semper," and two horses, 
at liberty, as supporters. 






the " factor's pew " in the parish church of Fyvie, above 
the words " Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie," and the date 
" 1603 ;" and quarterly, on a chaste silver communion-cup 
belonging to the same parish, bearing the following Latin 
inscription relative to its presentation : " Deo sacrisque in 
Ecclesia Fyvseana faciendis dicavit Alexander Setonius 
Fermelinoduni Comes, etc. Anno Salutis 1618." The 
escutcheon is surmoimted by a large coronet, under a cres- 
cent and the Dimfermline motto " Semper." An interest- 
ing piece of stained glass, about ten inches square, was 
recently found in the drawer of an old table at Fyvie 
Castle, which is intended to be preserved, in a suitable 
position, in the parish church. It exhibits Lord Fyvie's 
arms, in the combined form, on a highly ornamental 
escutcheon, surmounted by a very elegant mantling (with- 
out a helmet), on which is placed a crescent within a similar 
figure inverted, under the motto " Semper." The arms are 
surrounded by a circular garter bearing the words, " Alexan- 
der Seton Lord Fyvie 1599." The following legend, in large 
Eoman letters, appears at the top of the great staircase of 
the castle, the first four words being alternately separated 
by crescents and cinquefoils (Seton and Hamilton), and the 
others by buckles, the bearings of the Leslie family : — 

" Alexander Seton Lord Fyvie — Dame Gressel Leslie Ladie 

Fyvie— 1603."^ 

* The foUowing entry occurs in the accounts of the Burgh of Aberdeen, of 
which extracts are printed in the fifth volume of the Spalding Club Miscellany : 
" 1602-3. Item, the XI of August, for the wyne and spicerie presentit to my 
Lord of Fyvie, president, 7 lib. lOe." — probably in honour of his marriage to 
" Dame Gressel Leslie." 


The southern residence of the Chancellor, now surrounded 
by venerable chestnuts and sycamores, was in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the old town of Musselburgh, and 
within six miles of the Scottish metropolis. Like his 
Aberdeenshire castle, it has long been consecrated to the 
Scottish muse. 

" By Pinkie House oft let me walk, 
And muse o'er Nelly's charms ! 
Her placid air, her winning talk 
Even envy's self disarms." 

It is generally believed that the principal portion of 
Pinkie House, including the " King's room " and Painted 
Gallery, owes its existence to Lord Dunfermline. The 
family chronicle informs us that " he acquired the lands of 
Pinkie, where he built ane noble house, brave stone dykes 
about the garden and orchard, with other commendable 
policie about it ; " and the following inscription, although 
unfortunately no longer visible in consequence of modem 
additions, is cut upon the front of the mansion : — 

" Dominus Alexander Setonius hanc domum aedificavit, non ad 
animi, sed fortunarum et agelli modum, 1613." 

The central edifice consists of a massive square tower, 
the walls being of great thickness and the ground-floor 
strongly arched. The turrets attached to the angles of the 
tower, as well as those on the corners of the lower portion 
of the structure, present very characteristic features. It 
is supposed that the building was intended to have been 





quadrangular, with the elaborate fountain, which stands in 
front, in the centre of the court ; but although the design 
appears never to have been completed, the aspect of the 
mansion is dignified and pleasing. Many portions of the 
interior are possessed of considerable interest. One very 
lofty room is said to have been occupied by the Chevalier 
on the night after the battle of Prestonpans, while the 
Painted Gallery is of great length, the wooden ceiling being 
entirely covered with devices and inscriptions. Many of 
the latter also occur on difierent portions of the stone-work, 
and usually consist of maxims similar to the one already 
quoted, having reference to the vanity of sumptuous, 
abodes. Thus : " Curandum majus ut Isete quam ut late 
habitemus." " Saepe in palatiis labor et dolor — in tuguriis 
quies et gaudium habitant." Possibly, as has been suggested, 
the learned Chancellor was conscious of his besetting weak- 
ness for the mortar-tub. His initials (A. S.) are frequently 
intertwined on the ceiling of two other apartments on the 
same floor as the King's Eoom, interspersed with coronets, 
crescents, and cinquefoils. In the smaller of these two 
rooms, the fuU armorial ensigns of Lord Dunfermline, 
moulded in stucco, surmount the mantelpiece, accompanied 
by the following good advice : — 

" Nee cede adversis rebus, 
Nee crede secundis " — 

which is only an adaptation of the words inscribed by his 
chivalric father at his Palace of Seton, in allusion to his own 
painftd experiences after the disaster of Langside : — 



" In adversitate patiens ; 
In prosperitate benevolus. 
Hazard yet fordward." 

Lord Dunfermline was not the first distinguished lawyer 
who resided at Pinkie. In May 1571, during the civil war 
which then raged in Scotland, " thre cofferis of Mr James 
M'Gillis going out of Leyth to Pinkie, estemed worth 
1000 lib.," were taken by the Queen's partisans. The 
owner of the coffers was James Makgill of Rankeillor, Lord 
Clerk Eegister and a Lord of Session (eldest son of Sir 
James Makgill, Provost of Edinburgh), whose grand- 
nephew, another Sir James Makgill, was created Viscount 
Oxfurd in 1651. The Lord Clerk Eegister either acquired 
the Barony of Pinkie, or lived there for greater security, 
and died in 1579. 

Pinkie appears to have been purchased by the Tweeddale 
family shortly before the forfeiture of the Dunfermline title 
in 1690, and about a hundred years later (1788), it was 
acquired from the Hays by Sir Archibald Hope of Craig- 
hall, grandfather of the present proprietor. 





TN estimating the character of Alexander Seton, we must 
-*- not fail to keep in mind the eventful occurrences of the 
times in which his lot was cast. Five years after he was 
bom, the old faith, to which his family had for ages been 
devotedly attached, was supplanted by the Eeformed reli- 
gion ; and not many months before he was promoted to the 
office of Chancellor, the crowns of England and Scotland had 
been united in the person of James VI., by the death of the 
" Virgin Queen." These important ecclesiastical and politi- 
cal changes naturally produced no little excitement in the 
public mind ; and at such a crisis, the judicial and admin- 
istrative capacities of those in authority were, of course, 
severely tested. Seton appears to have given evidence of 
superior gifts at a very early age ; and as the result of his 
legal studies on the Continent, his " public lesson " at 
Holyrood elicited the applause of the King and the leading 
members of the College of Justice. After successively hold- 
ing the position of Extraordinary and Ordinary Lord of 


Session, he was advanced to the headship of the Court at 
the comparatively early age of thirty-eight. We have seen 
how vigorously he acted during the troublesome disputes 
between the Kirk and the Crown, a few years after he 
became Lord President ; and how, on two special occasions, 
he had the courage to oppose the will of the sovereign, 
under whose continuous favour he had prospered from his 
earliest years. In justice to his royal master, we ought to 
remember that the firmness which Seton displayed, how- 
ever much it may have vexed the King at the time, did 
not come in the way of the bestowal of distinguished 
honours. The same year that the President maintained 
the independence of the Court in the case of the Rev. Robert 
Bruce, he was dignified with the title of Lord Fyvie ; and 
notwithstanding his determined resistance to the contem- 
plated English invasion, he was shortly afterwards intrusted 
with the supervision of the youthful Prince Charles, ap- 
pointed Chancellor of Scotland, and advanced to the Earl- 
dom of Dunfermline. During his later years, he continued 
to preserve the royal favour, in spite of occasional rebukes 
arising from his lukewarmness towards the King's ecclesi- 
astical changes, and his dislike to the domineering conduct 
of the bishops. 

Probably few lawyers have held so many offices, or en- 
joyed so many honours, in the course of their lives. Be- 
sides his various judicial appointments, culminating in that 
of Lord Chancellor, Seton filled the office of Provost of 
Edinburgh for no less than ten consecutive years, and was, 
for a short period, chief magistrate of Elgin. He was also 


Commendator of Pluscarden, one of the far-famed Octa- 
vians, the King's Commissioner, Keeper of the Palace of 
Holyrood, and heritable Bailie and Constable of Dunferm- 
line. In addition to his high honours and numerous offices, 
he had the good fortune to be the owner of extensive pos- 
sessions in at least four counties of Scotland. No doubt, 
apart from his natural capacity, he started with many 
important advantages. Sprung from an ancient House, 
long celebrated for its consistent devotion to the Crown, he 
secured the royal favour at a very early age ; and in his 
advancing years, his successful career was probably mate- 
rially assisted by his various niatrimonial alliances with 
families of influence and distinction. 

It has been truly said that Seton's character must have 
been of no ordinary kind when it elicited the approbation 
of such dissimilar men as Spottiswood and Calderwood. 
According to the former, " he exerced his place with great 
moderation, and to the contentment of all honest men : he 
was ever inclining to the Eoman faith as being educated at 
Eome in his younger years, but very observant of good 
order, and one that hated lying and dissimulation, and 
above all things studied to maintain peace and quietness." ^ 
Calderwood says that " howsoever he was popishly disposed 
in his religion, yet he condemned many abuses and corrup- 
tions in the Kirke of Eome. He was a good justiciar, 
courteous and humane both to strangers and to his owne 
country people; but noe good friend to the bishops." 
Scotstarvet asserts that Seton "professed himself a Pro- 

* History of the Cliurch and State of Scotland, p. 543. 


testant in outward show, but died an avowed Papist ; " but 
this statement is probably open to question, and was, no 
doubt, mainly suggested by the circumstance of his early 
training at Eome, and the well-known traditions of his 
family. A similar insinuation is more than once referred 
to in the preceding pages, but in almost every instance the 
allegation proceeds from a prejudiced quarter. Besides 
Calderwood's admission of his reforming inclinations, Pont 
expresses a pretty decided opinion regarding the President's 
orthodoxy, in the Dedication of his * New Treatise ' already 
referred to. His persistent hostility to the bishops, and his 
dignified and impartial conduct in the case of Mr Robert 
Bruce, seem rather to indicate what, in later times, would 
have been regarded as an approach to Erastianism. 

Many other writers bear testimony to Seton's moral and 
intellectual qualities. While Dempster,^ somewhat pedan- 
tically, pronoimces him to have been " caput senatus, bo- 
norum corculum, Zaleucus alter," he is thus panegyrised by 
Arthur Johnston : — 

" Sub Jove liquit humum, spreto Themis aurea caelo, 
Nunc tecum in terris, Haye ! tribunal habet" 

In the * Earl of Perth's Autobiography,' he is described as 
" endued with most virtuous, learned, and heroic qualities," 
and as " having spent a great part of his youth in the best 
towns of Italy and France, where all good literature was 
professed — ^a man most just and wise, deserving greater 

* De Scriptoribus Scotis, Ban. Club, 1829. 


commendation than paper can contain."^ Crawfurd says 
that " he lived in honour and prosperity, in the highest 
favour both with prince and people, and discharged his 
great office with the general applause of the whole kingdom. 
. . . He was esteemed one of the most eminent lawyers 
of his time, and one of the wisest men the nation then had, 
a great virtuoso^ and a fine poet. There are some fragments 
of his performances still extant, scattered in diverse books, 
which show him to have been a great man that way."^ 
Finally, Tytler, in his * Life of Sir Thomas Craig,' thus 
summarises the Chancellor's character: "He was an up- 
right and learned judge, an indefatigable and conscientious 
statesman, an accomplished scholar, and a patron of men 
of letters." 

In his short notice of Alexander Seton, Dempster states 
that, besides other performances, he wrote and delivered at 
Eome " Orationes Solennibus aliquot Festis coram Pontifice 
et Cardinalibus pronunciatas in saccUo Pontificio." He also 
refers to a Life of the Chancellor written by " Gulielmus 
Setonius, J. C, Alexandri consanguineus, et olim familiaris," 
which the author intended to publish. 

Two of Seton's Latin epigrams, prefixed to Bishop 
Lesley's * History of Scotland,' are generally regarded as 
specimens of elegant scholarship. While in the first he 

* MisceUany of the Spalding Club, ii. 396. 

* Officers of State, p. 156. The same author alludes to the fact of Archbishop 
Spottiswood speaking very favourably of Seton, " although he never shows him- 
self very x)artial to the Chancellor, I know not on what account." — See Spottis- 
wood*8 History, pp. 486, 495, and 509. Possibly Seton's antagonism to the 
bishops may explain Crawfurd's difficulty. 


touchingly pleads for a return to the "fides" and the 
" pictos " of former ages, in the second he refers to the 
circumstance of the patriotic prelate having composed his 
work when an exUe Tom his native huxd. 

"Ad Nobilitatbh 
Alexandri Setonii Scoti 


Siccine vos titulis tantum gaudetis avorum, 

Nee pudet antiquam desemisse fidem 1 
At titulos dcdit alma fides, dedit inclita virtus, 

Has nostri semper nam coluere Patres. 
Ceniitis, his modo desertis, ut gloria vestra 

Conciderit, gentis concideritque decus. 
Ergo est priscorum pietas repetenda parenttim 

Vt referat nobis saacula prisca Deus. 

Ejusdem ad Auctobem. 

Dvm patrias habitare domos, dum regna tenere 

Scotica, dum licuit res agitare graves : 
Non caput innumeris dubitasti oppouere telis, 

Aut ferre hostilis pro pictate minas. 
Nunc tibi (proh dolor) est horum sublata potestas, 

In patriam pietas attomen usque viget 
Pncsentis jam sa)pe duo defensa periclo 

Regna, exul scriptis vis celcbrare pius. 
Qu^m felix tanto dicenda est Scotia patre, 

Tom patrid dignus tu meliore fores." 

Dr Joseph Robertson remarks that Buchanau's celebrated 
Dedication of his translation of the Psalms to Queen Mary, 
appears to have fascinated more than one Scottish writer 
of Latin verse, and to have suggested, among others, the 
following lines inscribed to the same Queen by Seton, at an 


early period of his career.^ They axe prefixed to the second 
part of Bishop Leslejr's History, of which the first edition 
was published at Eome in 1578. After sounding the praises 
of her illustrious progenitors, he concludes by expressing a 
hope that Lesley should yet record her own " brave deeds," 
as he had already celebrated those of previous monarchs. 

'* Ad Serenissiman Scotonim Reginam 

Alexandri Setonii, Scoti, Epigramma. 

Clara atavis, genus antique de sanguine rcguni, 

Nympha Caledonij gloria rara soli : 
Maiorum hie laudes, toto quos insula ab orbe 

Diuiflit, toto cemis ab orbe legi. 
Hoc illis peperere decus, non gloria regni, 

Non genus, aut diues gaza, fauorque virAm : 
Sed pietatis honos, fidei constantia, morum 

Integritas, belli gloria, pacis amor. 
Queis tua maiores superet cum viuida virtus ; 

Qu2» tandem mentis laus erit sequa tuis? 
Vnum hoc Leslseo superest, tua fortia facta 

Scribere, consilijs multa peracta suis. 
Et mihi sunt verbis saltem tua facta canenda, 

A proauis ne sim degener ipse meis.'' 

In his later years, Seton addressed the following epigram 
to Sir John Skene ,^ on the publication of his celebrated 
treatise known as "Regiam Majestatem," which was re- 
commended to his "maist sacred souerane" in a curious 

* Preface to the Inventories of Mary Queen of Scots, p. cvi, note 1. 

* Sir John Skene was appointed Lord Clerk Register in 1594, and two months 
later, an Ordinary Lord of Session, under the title of Lord Curriehill. He was 
also one of the Octavians, along with President Seton. His son James became 
head of the Court in 1626, on the i-esigUation of the Earl of Haddington. 


letter bearing the Chancellor's signature, and dated 15th 
March 1607:^ — 

" In antiqvissimas Scotorum leges, nunc primum a Claris™^ V. 
integerrimoqve Senatore et archivorvm regiorvm custode, Joanne 
Skenaeo in lucem editas. 


Ciim recti sincerus amor regnaret et sequi, 

Fortibus hsoc Reges jura tul^re viris ; 
Sive ea prisca sibi nuUiB auctoribus aetas 

Nee dum comiptis moribus imposuit. 
In tabulas Reges qu8B curavere referri, 

Acta nepos patrum, nosset vt, et coleret 
His decus, his pietas, stetit his invicta parentum 

Libertas, parta his gloria, parta quies. 
Talia Trojugenis trabeatus scita Quirinus, 

Cecropijsve Solon, vel Draco jussa dabant. 
Fabula fucato verborum ometur amictu, 

Integritas legiim simplicitate viget. 

A* S. F. C. 

The long Latin epitaph at Seton Church, in commemora- 
tion of his parents, was the production of the Chancellor's 
scholarly pen.^ It extends to no fewer than fifty-two lines, 
on an entire slab of black marble, 5 ft. 6 in. x 4 ft. 8 in., 
and will be found in the first volimie of Grose's * Antiquities 
of Scotland.' Besides setting forth the virtues of his father 
and mother, he refers, in separate paragraphs, to each of 
their children, the notice of himself being in the following 
words : " Alexander multis annis Senator, et ab intimis con- 
siliis tum princeps Senatus ab ipso ordine electus, demum 

1 Denmiln MS., Adv. Lib. A. 239. 

2 Mackenzie's Lives of Scottish Writers, iii. 217. 


a Eege prudentissimo qui primus Scotiam Angliamque in 
uuum contulit dominatum, utriusque regni sonuliorum Par- 
ticeps, Fennelinoduni Comes et Eegni Scotiae factus est 
Cancellarius." The initials " A. S. F. C. F. F." appear at 
the bottom of the inscription, and probably indicate : 
" Alexander Setonius, Fennelinoduni Comes, fieri fecit." 

Seton probably composed the inscription on the elaborate 
monimient at Dunfermline to William Schaw, the accom- 
plished Master of Works to James VI., who died on the 
18th of April 1602. The epitaph duly narrates the archi- 
tecf s moral and professional gifts, and begins as foUows :- 


Integerrimo . Amico . 


Vive .inter . superos . eBtemumque . op time . \'ive . 

Ha)c . tibi . vita . labor . mors . fuit . alta . quies . 

Alexander . Setonius . D. F.* 

D. 0. M . 

More than one distinguished writer has commented on 
the high place which the Setons long held in the cultiva- 
tion of the arts and civilised habits of society. In his 
interesting * Memoir of Lady Anna Mackenzie,' Lord Lind- 
say alludes to that honourable distinction, when speaking 
of the beneficial influence of the Chancellor's character upon 
his numerous relatives and connections. 

" The family of the Seytons," he says, " had been peculiarly 
noted, even in purely feudal times, for the more graceful and 

* Dicari fecit 

? 188 THE chancellor's INFLUENCE. 


3 liberalising tendencies of their age, and their impress, through 

Lord Dunfermline, was, if I mistake not, strongly marked on the 
whole family group of Lindsays, Mackenzies, Maitlands, Drum- 
monds, and others. Among these, David Lord Balcarres, Dun- 
Jl fermline's son-in-law (Lady Anna Mackenzie's 'good-father' or 

^ father-in-law), was remarkable for his literary and scientific tastes, 

5 and his well-stored and curious library. John Earl of Lauder- 

r dale. Lord Balcarres' most intimate friend, was in many respects 

of similar character ; and his successor, the Duke of Lauderdale, 
was one of the principal book-collectors of his tima The instinct 
for such pursuits, the inherent love of knowledge and graceful 
accomplishment, may have descended both to Balcarres and 
Lauderdale from their fathers. Secretary Lindsay and Chancellor 
Maitland; but in either case, through the early loss of the 
parents, the development and direction of the youthful genius 
of the sons was due, if I mistake not, to the Seyton father-in- 
law." 1 












As illustrations of the Chancellor's versatility, I have 
already referred to his patronage of the turf at Dunferm- 
line, and to his addiction to the bow and arrow, even in 
his declining years; and living as he frequently did at 
Pinkie, it implies no great stretch of the imagination to 
suppose that he occasionally indulged in the "royal and 
ancient " game of golf, on the adjoining links of Mussel- 
burgh.2 Both Charles L (Seton's early charge) and his 

' * See also Riddell's Scottish Peerage Law, i. 49, note 2. 

j ' Chancellor Seton appears to have taken an active interest in the affairs of 

> the good town of Musselburgh. Among the local records is a recommendation 

I by Queen Anne and the Chancellor, as bailie of the Lordship of Musselburgh, 

{ relative to the building and support of the harbour. Mr Paterson, in his 

* History of the Regality of Musselburgh,' also refers to a gift which Lord Dun- 
fermline procured from Charles I. for the endowment of a music school ; but 
seeing that he died three years before that monarch ascended the throne, the 



elder brother, Prince Henry, were ardent lovers of that 
healthy pastime ;i and more than one of Seton's succes- 
sors in the offices of President or Chancellor are known 
to have wielded the club. From the note-books of Sir 
John Foulis of Ravelston,^ it appears that, in 1672, the 
Earl of Rothes, then Chancellor, practised the game of 
golf; and some seventy years later, Duncan Forbes of 
Culloden, President of the Court of Session, was an en- 
thusiastic player. It is pleasant to be able to add that 
the ermine of the present day is well represented on the 
golfing green. 

Looking to the circumstances of the times in which 
he lived. Lord Dunfermline appears to have fulfilled his 
various public duties in an honest and liberal spirit. The 
peculiar character and early experiences of the monarch 
with whom he had so long to deal ought also to be taken 
into account. When we consider the semi-barbarous con- 
dition of Scotland when James VI. assumed the reins of 
government, and bear in mind the gradual introduction of 
good order during the first twenty years of the seventeenth 
century, the King certainly appears to be entitled to a 
higher estimate than that assigned to him by Henri Quatre, 
to wit, " the wisest fool in Christendom." At a compara- 
tively early age he showed no little energy in curbing the 
power of an unprincipled nobility ; and before he crossed 

endowment was probably accomplished by bis son and successor, Uie second 
Earl. I have made more than one unsuccessful attempt to obtain information 
on the subject from the authorities of Musselburgh. 

* See Mr Robert Clark's charming work on Golf (1875), pp. 11 and 15. 

^ Embraced in Maidment's Nugse Scoticse, printed in 1829. 



« ■ 



I I 

• > 







* ■ 





i the Border in 1603, he had practically succeeded in crush- 

z'- ing the dominant influence of the Douglases and the 

^it Ruthvens. His judgment was frequently displayed in his 

)?; negotiations with foreign powers ; and on several occasions 

he proved himself quite able to hold his own with the wily 
Queen of England. 

The attitude of the King in connection with the position 
of his unfortunate mother, towards the close of her long 
period of imprisonment in England, may perhaps suggest 
unfavourable criticism. Among other references to the 
royal captive in the Minutes of the Scottish Privy Council, 
we find (1st February 1586-7) the notice of a form of 
prayer enjoined on the clergy and others for his Majesty's 
mother " in her present peril." The King himself attended 
the relative meeting of the Council, and also the two new 
Councillors, Mr Peter Young, and Sir John Seton of Bams, 
" great Master Household " and brother of Lord Urquhart. 
The excitement in Edinburgh appears to have been very 
great. "The King desperate of his mother's life; the 
country ready to take arms for revenge ; oflfers . of the 
Hamiltons to raise 5000 men of their own to bum New- 
castle and commence war with England" — such is the 
abstract of a letter from Scotland to Lord Burghley.^ Queen 
Mary was beheaded in the hall of Fotheringay Castle, 
about eleven o'clock a.m. of Wednesday, 8th February, 
1586-7, in the forty-seventh year of her age, and the 
eighteenth after her flight from Scotland; and it would 

* Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, voL iv., 1585-92. Edited by- 
Professor Masson (1881), p. 140. 


appear that there was no knowledge of the fact on this 
side of the Tweed for a good many days.^ 

Various writers, including Sir Walter Scott, have turned 
the "Scottish Solon" into ridicule for failings resulting 
from the ignorance and superstition which were all but 
universal at the time in which he lived. He dreaded 
witchcraft, in common with the most enlightened scholars 
and divines in every part of Europe ; * and no man was 
ever more justified in entertaining a fear of treason, seeing 
that, during the latter portion of the sixteenth century, 
more daring acts of rebellion were committed in Scotland 
than any other country has ever exhibited in the same 
space of time. On more than one occasion, the Bang dis- 
played a considerable amount of personal courage, and 

* Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, voL iv. p. 143, note. 

* In a recent publication, entitled * Sketches of Tranent in the Olden Time,* 
we are informed that 57,000 persons were executed for witchcraft, in England 
and Scotland, during the seventeenth century ; and that a certain David 
Setoun, who acted as deputy-bailiff in Tranent to the Chancellor's brother. 
Lord Seton, was the man who " struck the spark that caused this appalling 
explosion of national insanity." He is held up to public execration for having 
endeavoured, in 1591, to wring a confession of witchcraft out of his " young 
and comely " maid-servant, Qeillis Duncane, by the use of the pUHwinkiSf or 
thumbscrews. Geillis and her accomplices appear, from the reported trials, to 
have been the means of throwing some light upon the cause of the storm which 
James VI. and his Danish bride encoimtered on their passage from Copen- 
hagen to Leith in the end of April 1590 ; and when Qeillis was summoned to 
Holyrood by the King — elegantly described by the author of the Sketches as a 
" superstitious and ruthless tyrant" — she was required to play, on a Jew's-harp, 
the reel she had performed to the Devil and the witches in the Kirk of North 
Berwick, at the meeting which was convened to devise a plan for the destruc- 
tion of the royal craft — See Pitcaim's Criminal Trials, L 214, 230, etc. 

Seton-thom, " be-north the ime yet of Seton," apx)ear8 to have been a tryst- 
ing place for witches as well as lovers. — Ibid., iL 543. 


notably in connection with the cowardly assault of the 
Euthvens in Gowrie House. At the crisis of the struggle, 
he is said to have placed his foot on the chain of his 
favourite hawk, which had dropped from his arm, to pre- 
vent its escape by the open window. K his scholarship 
approached to pedantry, he certainly seems to have suc- 
ceeded in turning the attention of his subjects to learning ; 
and doubtless he owed much to the beneficial influence of 
George Buchanan. Hume considers that any one who reads 
his * Basilicon Doron,' his answer to Cardinal Parron, or 
his speeches and messages to ParUament, wiU admit that 
he possessed " no mean genius ; " while Weldon thus con- 
cludes his panegyric of King James : " He lived in peace, 
dyed in peace, and left all his Kingdomes in a peaceable 
condition, with his oune motto, ' Beati pacifici.' " ^ While, 

^ Professor Masson suggests that any one who questions the substantial 
accuracy of Scott's character of the King, in the * Fortunes of Nigel,* may have 
his doubts removed to a considerable extent by the perusal of a document rela- 
tive to his contemplated marriage, penned by his Majesty at the age of twenty- 
four. " I wes allane," he says, " without fader or moder, bruthir or suster, 
kinge of this realme, and air appeirand of England. This my naikatnes maid 
me to be waik and my inemyis stark ; ane man wes as na man, and the want 
of hoip of successioun bread disdayne ; yea my lang delay bred in the breistis 
of mony a grite jealosie of my inhabilitie, as gif I wer a barrane stok. . . . 
I am knawne, God be prased, not to be very intemperately rashe nor concety 
in my wechtiest effearis ; nather use I to be sa caryed away with passioun as I 
refuse to hear ressoun." — Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, voL iv., 
1585-92 ; Introduction, p. xlvii — 1881. Thirteen years after these words 
were written (1603), Sir Francis Bacon thus reports his impression of the 
King's character and conduct to the Earl of Northumberland : " Your Lord- 
ship will find a prince the farthest from the appearance of vainglory that may 
be, and rather like a prince of the ancient form than of the latter time. His 
speech is swift and cursory, and in the full dialect of his country ; and in point 
of business, short ; in point of discourse, large. ... He hasteneth to a 


THE chancellor's CORRESPONDENCE. 193 

however, we are disposed to give more credit to the King 
for common-sense and successful administration than is 
usually conceded, we must not fail to remember that he 
was generally able to command the aid and advice of judi- 
cious counsellors ; and of these probably the most trusty 
and sagacious was Alexander Seton. For the long period 
of thirty years, he exercised a very important and bene- 
ficial influence in the councils of the kingdom; and the 
opinions of his contemporaries, as well as the eulogies of 
his survivors, to both of which pretty full reference has been 
made, bear ample testimony to his wisdom and prudence. 
Most of the letters which I have been able to trace belong 
to his later years, and materials calculated to throw light on 
his judicial career are unfortunately somewhat scanty. The 
pithy quaintness of his correspondence cannot fail to strike 
the most casual reader; although it is to be feared that, 
among the rising generation of Scotchmen, there are not a 
few who would be quite incapable of comprehending many 
of the Chancellor's expressions, and to whom the pages of 
our great national poet are rapidly becoming a dead letter. 
How Cecil and Seton's other English correspondents con- 
trived to understand his epistles is a somewhat perplexing 

mixture of both kingdoms and nationB, faster perhaps than policy wiU con- 
veniently bear." — Spedding's Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, iii. 77. Mr 
Spedding himself remarks, that " for experimental philosophy James had not 
as yet (c. 1603) shown any taste ; . . . but a general survey and criticism 
of the existing stock of knowledge was a work which few men then living were 
better qualified to appreciate. . . . Here was a king, still in the prime of 
life, devoted to peace, and sympathising largely with the interests of mankind, 
eminent even among learned men, in a learned age, for proficiency in aU kinds 
of learning."— Ibid., 88. 



consideration ; unless, indeed, their familiarity with Chaucer, 
and other early English authors, gave them an advantage 
which few of their descendants appear to inherit. Imagine 
an average Englishman of the present day endeavouring to 
extract a meaning from such passages as the following : — 

" I entreate y'* lo. to speake to his Ma*^* before his departour 
for the despeche off my besiness in sik maner as y*^ Lp. saU think 
meltest, for i lippen that haillie to y' Lp. mair nor to onye other 
middis or mediation, and will think me self debtour to y' Lp. for 
the same." 

*' He hes had speciall cair to repres, baithe in the incoontrie 
and on the Bordours, the insolence of all the proud bangisters, 
oppressours, and nembroithis, but regaird or respect to ony of 
thame, has purged the Bordours of all the cheiffest malefactouris, 
rubbars, and brigantis, as war wount to regnne and triumphe 

" For that ane bordered poolke for caireing the greate seale can 
nocht be gottin maed heir, or ellis I sould nocht trubill yiow nor 
nane for ane. Sence my Lord Dumbar departit this lyfiT, this 
three yeir I haue had nane, and sic as I haue are wome aulde 
and nocht sa cuimelie as neid war." 

"Ane kittill, mutinous, and onsatled man, full of consaittis, 
readie to rase and steir maa broylis his alane nor tuentie guid and 
wyse men will gett weill quenched." 

" I find me now far remoued from the springs or sprentis that 
mouis all the resortis ofif our gouerment, and thairfore layis for 
suirest ground to moue. I hald or latt goe as our first motors 
settis us to, otherwajris in bulk or banis I find yit leitill decay 
in me." 


When the Chancellor assures his most sacred Majesty 
that his youthful ward, Prince Charles, "is jugit be all 
werye lyke in lineamentis to your royall person," or that 
"all wisdome, all doctrine, all courtessie, all godlines, 
policie, and ciuilitie schynes in the (King's) booke laitlie 
come to licht," he merely writes like the ordinary courtier 
of the seventeenth century.^ The same may be said of his 
fervid protestations of devotion to his Majesty's " honour, 
will, and Weill," and of his " greiflf in hairt and minde " when 
suspected of being concerned in a poUtical intrigue. Some- 
times, perhaps, he approaches the borders of extravagance, 
more especially when he indulges in classical illustrations, as 
in his letter to the King (12th August 1609) regarding Lord 
Dunbar's pacification of the southern portion of the king- 
dom.^ On the other hand, however, it must be acknowledged 
that his correspondence abounds with instances of homeli- 
ness and goodness of heart, which more than counterbalance 
the occasional blemishes. What, for example, could be 
more quaint and touching than his allusion to his advanc- 
ing years, in the letter which he addressed to Sir Eobert 
Kerr, towards the close of his career ; or the simple words 
with which he concludes his expression of gratitude to the 
" gentleman of the bedchamber," for assistance in the 
" fashions besines of Eglintoun " ? " Freindis and kinsmen 
as wee are man daylie be doand to otheris all guid offices 

^ See the Academy of Compliments, published in 1646. 

* " This letter," says Mr Maidment, " is inimitable, and must have suited the 
fancy of the King exactly. The gross flattery and superabundance of classical 
allusion would be equally palatable. No wonder that Lord Dunfermline was 
a favourite." 


thay can, eurie ane in his vocatioun, place, and calling: 
reckin ye may spend me as onye yie haue maist powar oflF." 

In the well-known group by Sir Antonio More, already 
referred to, embracing George, seventh Lord Seton, and his 
five surviving chUdren, the figure on the extreme right 
represents the embryo Chancellor, at the age of fourteen. 
The supposed original, on panel, is in the possession of the 
representatives of the last Lord Somerville ; while there are 
excellent copies, on canvas, at Tester, Dunse Castle, and 
Dunrobin— of which the first is attributed to Sir John 
Medina. In the Tester copy, the initials and ages of the 
different figures are distinctly indicated, and the following 
inscription^old French, is mtroduced between the hea^ 
of Lord Seton and his daughter : " Ma fille, craing Diev et 
ton honnevr, care honnevr des dames est tendre et delicat." 
The words " Initium sapientise timor Domini " are inscribed 
on the right-hand page of the open book in the hand of the 
Chancellor's younger brother, William ; whHe the initials 
of his father (G. S.) appear in one of the lower comers. 

There is also, at Tester, a very interesting half-length 
portrait (3 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft. 11 in.) of Chancellor Seton, 
by F. Zuccaro, which was formerly at Pinkie. The follow- 
ing inscription appears in the upper left comer : " -^tatis 
suae 53, 1610." In point of fact, however, Lord Dunferm- 
line was about 55 years of age at that date. The portrait 
indicates a tall man of fair complexion, with a pleasant 
expression; hair turning grey; small beard, moustaches, 
and whiskers ; eyes, bluish-grey ; long head, especially the 
upper portion. He wears a richly embroidered black velvet 


dress, under a robe of the same colour, faced with brown 
fur ; white frUl and lace cuflFs ; pair of gloves in right hand, 
with square (ruby ?) ring on the little finger, while the left 
hand rests on the hilt of a dress sword, with a small key 
attached by a chain to the wrist.^ 

An original portrait of ChanceUor Seton is beUeved to 
have been formerly at Kellie Castle, respecting which, 
however, I have failed to obtain any satisfactory informa- 
tion. Other portraits are stated to have been at Dunse 
Castle and Dunrobin ; but it would appear that the only 
likenesses of the Chancellor, at these two places, are the 
copies of the juvenile portrait by Sir Antonio More, pre- 
viously mentioned. 

The character and qualifications of the subject of my 
Memoir may be briefly summarised. An able lawyer, an 
impartial judge, a sagacious statesman, a consistent patriot, 
an accomplished scholar, a discerning patron of Uterature, a 

^ Among various other Seton portraits in the Tester collection are the fol- 
lowing : 1. Dame Isobel Hamilton, Lady Seton, 1589, mother of the Chan- 
cellor. 2. Hon. Margaret Hay, his third wife, a curious picture, also by F. 
Zuccaro. 3. Lady Jean Seton, ** anno 1618, astatis 12,'' daughter of the Chan- 
cellor, and first wife of the first Earl of Tweeddale — a very sweet face, fully cor- 
roborating the description given of her, three years afterwards, by her successful 
suitor (see p. 161 supra). 4. Charles, second Earl of Dunfermline, full length, 
by Vandyke, representing a man upwards of six feet in height. A medal, bear- 
ing the profile and bust of the second Earl, is engraved in Plate XX. of the 
Medals, Coins, etc, of Thomas Simon (chief engraver of the mint to Charles I., 
etc.), by George Vertue, second edition, 1780. On the reverse is the legend : 
" Car : Setonivs . Femelinoclvni . Com : 1646." The face bears a striking resem* 
blance to Vandyke's portrait. 

I have to acknowledge my obligation to the Marquess of Tweeddale for per- 
mission to engrave Zuccaro's portrait of Chancellor Seton, and also the Yester 
copy of Sir Antonio More's family group. 


munificent builder, a skilful herald, and an ardent lover of 
archery and other manly sports. Lord Dunfermline may 
certainly be regarded as having been versatile and many- 
sided, in no ordinary degree. His title to fame, however, 
mainly rests upon his judicial and political reputation ; and 
few Scottish worthies have so strikingly displayed the 
praiseworthy characteristics of prudence, moderation, and 
integrity. Up to the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
he was unquestionably the greatest lawyer that had been 
privileged to preside in the Court of Session ; and in the 
successful discharge of the duties of the higher office of 
Chancellor, or " keeper of the royal conscience," which he 
filled for the long period of eighteen years, he was probably 
not surpassed by any of the other distinguished men who 
held the «»ne 4or4nt position. In theTdays of Memo- 
rials to celebrities of bygone days, the name of Lord Dim- 
fermline seems to be well entitled to perpetuation; and 
looking to the many dignified offices which he so worthHy 
filled, as well as to his intimate connection with the metro- 
polis of Scotland, in the capacity of chief magistrate, the 
erection of a memorial window, in the venerable Cathedral 
of St Giles, would perhaps be generally regarded as an 
appropriate monument to Alexander Seton, 


to passage at page 61, relative to the custody op 

Prince Charles. 

My accomplished friend Mr James Gordon, formerly Sheriff at 
Banff, has been good enough to call my attention to an interest- 
ing allusion to President Seton and his royal charge, in the 
' Memoirs of Bobert Carey, Earl of Monmouth,' published from 
the original MS., by the Earl of Corke and Orrery in 1759, of 
which a subsequent edition appeared in 1808, under the editor- 
ship of Sir Walter Scott. 

" When I was at Norham," Carey writes, " God put it into 
my mind to go to Dunfermline, to see the King's second son. I 
found him a very weak diild. I stayed a day or two with my 
Lord Dunfermline (then Lord Fyvie), whom I had long known, 
and was my noble friend, and so returned to court again. 

"The summer after (1604), my Lord Dunfermline and his 
lady^ were to bring up the young Duke. The King was at 
Theobalds, when he heard that they were past Northumberland ; 

^ Grizel Leslie, Seton's second wife. She is not specially mentioned as having 
accompanied her husband and the young Prince to Leicester (p. 58 tupra) ; but 
it would appear, from Carey's statement, that she must have found her way to 
London in the course of the summer. 


from thence the King sent me to meet them, and gave me com- 
mission to see them furnished with all things necessary, and to 
stay with them till they had brought the Duke to court I did 
80, and found the Duke at Bishops Awkeland. I attended his 
Grace all his journey up ; and at Sir George Farmer's (Eaton), in 
Northamptonshire, we found the King and Queen, who were very 
glad to see their young son. 

" There were many great ladies suitors for the keeping of the 
Duke ; but when they did see how weak a child he was, and not 
likely to live, their hearts were down, and none of them was 
desirous to take charge of him. 

" After my Lord Chancellor of Scotland and his lady had stayed 
here from Midsummer tiU towards Michaelmas, they were to 
return to Scotland, and to leave the Duke behind them. The 
Queen (by approbation of the Scotch Lord Chancellor) made 
choice of my wife,^ to have the care and keeping of the Duke. 
Those who wished me no good, were glad of it, thinking that if 
the Duke should die in our charge (his weakness being sucH as 
gave them great cause to suspect it), then it would not be thought 
fit that we should remain in court after. My gracious God left 
me not, but out of weakness he showed his strength, and, beyond 
all men's expectations, so blessed the Duke with health and 
strength, under my wife's charge, as he grew better and better 
every day. The King and Queen rejoiced much to see him 
prosper as he did. . . . My wife had the charge of him from a 
little past four,^ till he was almost eleven years old (1611); in 
all which time, he daily grew more and more in health and 
strength, both of body and mind, to the amazement of many that 
knew his weakness, when she first took charge of him." — See 
p. 56, note, supra, 

^ Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Hugh Trevanion. 

* This must have been subsequently to 19th November 1604, when the 
Prince completed his fourth year. 

































































Name and Designation. 

Alexander Myln, Abbot of Cambuskenncth 

Robert Reid, Abbot of Kinloss and Bishon of Orkney 

Henry Sinclair, Abbot of Kilwinning and Bishop of 

John Sinclair, Dean of Restalrig and Bishop of 
Brechin (brother of No. 8), .... 

William Baillie of Provand (first lay President) 

Sir James Balfour of Pittendriech .... 

William Baillie of Provand (for the second time) 

Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline and Chan- 
cellor of Scotland 

James Elphinstone, Ist Lord Balmeriuo . 

John Preston of Fentonbarns 

Thomas Hamilton, 1st £arl of Haddington, 

Sir James Skene of Curriehill 

Sir Robert Spotswoode of New Abbey 

[1646-61. Interruption of 15 years.] 

Sir John Gilmour of Craigmillar .... 

James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount Stair 

George Gordon, 1st Earl of Aberdeen and Chancellor 
of Scotland 

Sir David Falconer of Newton 

Sir George Lockhart of Camwath .... 

James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount Stair (for the second 
vime/ *•... a... 

[1695-8. Office of Lord President vacant.'\ 

Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick, Baronet (3d 
son of No. 14) 

Duncan Forbes of Culloden 

Robert Dundas of Amiston 

Robert Crai^e of Glendoick 

Robert Dundas of Amiston (son of No. 20) 

Sir Thomas Miller of Barskimming and Glenlee, 
Baronet ........ 

Sir Hay Campbell of Succotli, Baronet 

Robert Blair of Avonton 

Charles Hope of Granton 

David Boyle of Shewalton 

Duncan M'Neill, 1st Lord Colonsay .... 

John Inglis of Glencorso 

























1 Although not beheaded till 1646, Sir Robert Spotswoode ceased to act in 1641. Sir 
Alexander Gibson of Durie was elected President for the summer session on Ist June 
1642, and again for the winter session of 1643. 


1. Family of Erskine. 

2. It HoPE« 

3. II Dalrtmpls. 





L James Dj 

(8th in descent from WiUitm de Dalrymple, who, in 1450, acqnired, i 

1667 and 1661, Lon 
1671-81, and again 1689-95, Ltm 

II. John, 2d Viscount, and (1708) 

let Earl of Stair. 1688, Lord JusHoe-Ckrh 

(afterwards Lord Adyocate and 

Secretary of State). 

James Da] 


1698, cr. Bai 

of Sir Jamc 

John, 2d Earl of Stair, 
the distinguished soldier, 
ob. 8. p. 

William Dalrymple of 

Glenmure, m. renelope, 

Ountess of Dumfries. 

George Dalrymple of 
Dalnuihoy, One of the 
Barons of Exchequer. 

William, Earl of Dumfries 

(through his mother), 

and 4th Earl of Stoir. 

ob. s. p. 1768. 

James, 8d Earl of 


ob. s. p. 1760. 

John, 5th Earl of 

Stair. (Succeeded 

his cousin.) 

John, 6th Earl of Stair, 
ob. s. p. 1821. 

William jDalrymple, 
General in the army. 



7th Earl of Stair, 
ob. 8. p. 1840. 

Sir Jo 




Sir Will 






8th Earl of Stair. 

(Succeeded his kinsman 

the 7th EarL) 

cr. Baron Oxenfoord, 1841. 

ob. s. p. 1858. 


9th Ear 

John, 10th E 


3 of Stair. 

fe, Agnes Kennedy, the lands of Stair-Montgomery, in Ayrshire. ) 
664, cr. Baronet. 

1690, cr. Viscount Stair. 

rk3 of Session, 
Catherine, d. 
>f Arniston. 

m. Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick. 

1695, Dean of Faculty. 1698, cr. Baronet. 

1698, Lard President, 

Sir Dayid Dalrymple of Halles (5th son), 

SolicUoT'Chneral to Queen Anne. 

1700, cr. Baronet. 






Sir Robert Dalrymple 
(ob, vitd patris). 

IV. Hew Dalrymple. 
1726, Lord Drummore. 

Sir Hew Dalrymple, 

2d Baronet, 
whose great-grand- 
son is 

Robert Dalrymple, VI. David Dalrymple. 
m. Mary, d. of Sir 1777, Lord Westhall 
James Elphinstone, 

Sir Robert Dalrymple- Hom-Elphinstone. 
1827, cr. Baronet. 

Sir James Dalrymple-Hom-Elphinstone, 
2d Baronet. 

Sir James Dalrymple, 

2d Baronet, 
Avditor of Exchequer. 

V. Sir David Dalr3rmple, 

8d Baronet. 

1766, Lord ffailes. 

Jean Dalrymple, 

m. Sir James Fergusson, 


Sir Charles-balrymple 

Ferffusson, Baronet, m. 

Helen, d. of Rt Hon. 

David Boyle, 

Lord President. 

Sir Hew-Hamilton Dahymple, 
6th Baronet. 

Sir James Fergusson, Baronet, 
Governor of Bombay. 

Charles, assumed surname 

of Dalrymple, on succeeding 

to estate of Halles. 

M.P. for Bute. 


Sir William Di 

(3d in descent from Jdiid 

Sir James Dondas of that Ilk. 

George Dundas of that Ilk. 

Sir Walter Dondas of that Ilk, 

whose present representative is 

Adam-Alexander-Duncan Dundas, R. N. , 

Chief of the House of Dundas. 

Sir James Dundas of Amiston (3d son). 

I. Sir James Dundas of Amiston. 
1662, Lord Amiston. 

n. Robert Dundas of Amiston. 
1689, Lard Amiston. 


Robert Dundas of Amiston. 
1717, Solicitor-General. 

1720, Lord Advocate. 

1721, Dean of Faculty. 
1737, Lord Amiston. 
1748, Lord President. 

IV. Robert Dundas of Amiston. 

1742, Solicitor-General. 

1746, Dean of Faculty. 

1754, Lord Advocate. 

1760, Lord President. 
m. (2d wife) Jean, d. of William 
Grant, Lord Prestongrange. 

Robert Dundas of Amiston, 
Lord Chief Baron of Exchequer. 

Henry Dundas. 

1775, Lord Advocate. 

1802, cr. Viscount Melville 

(Treasurer of the Navy, etc.) 

Hon. Elizabeth Dundas. 

Robert, 2d Viscount Helv 

Robert Dundas of Amiston. William-Pitt Dundas Henry, 3d Viscount Melville, Robert, 4th Viscount Meh 

Robert Dundas of Amiston. 

(3d son). 
1823, Called to Scotch Bar. 
1841, Deputy-Clerk Register. 
1854-80, Registrar-General. 

George-Smythe Dundas 
(3d son). 
1867, Called to Scotch Bar. 
1880, One of the Sheriff-Sub- 
stitutes of Argyleshire. 

died unmarried. 


D U N D A S. 

lAS of that Ilk. 

andas, temp, David II.) 

William Dundas of Duddingston. 


David Dundas of Duddingston. 

James Dundas of Duddingston, 

who carried on the line of 

that family. 

John Dundas of Manor, 

who carried on the line 

of that family. 

George Dundas of Manor, 
an eminent lawyer. 

John Dundas of Manor. 

Ralph Dundas of Manor. 

Ralph Dundas (3d son). 

James Dundas of Ochtertyre, 
Clerk to the Signet. 

RalpL-James Dundas, 
CUrk to the Signet. 

Rev. Charles Dundas, 

Prebendary of Lincoln. 

(3 sons and 7 daughters). 

Sir David Dundas, Q.C., M.P., 
Judge Advocate-General and 
Solicitor-General of £ngland. 

V. George Dundas. 
1846, Sheriff of Selkirk. 
1868, Lord Manor. 


William-John Dundas, 
. Clerk to the Signet 
(4th son). 

David Dundas (5th son). 
1878, Called to Scotch Bar. 

John Dundas, 
Clerk to the Signet. 

Ralph Dundas, 
Clerk to the Signet. 



Abbotsford Club Publications, 52. 
Abercom, Duke of, 18. 
Abercorn, Ist Elarl of (nephew of Chan- 
cellor Seton), 81, 108. 
Abercom, 2d Earl of (grand-nephew of 

Chancellor Seton), 98, 138, 143, 144. 
Abercom — see Seton of Abercorn. 
Aberdeen Convention, 70, 73, 76 — burgh 

accounts, 175. 
Abemethie of Dalgety, William, 145. 
Abulyemeutis and armour of Chancellor 

Seton, 160. 
* Academy of Compliments,* 195. 
Achiesoun, Captain, 81. 
Acts not words, 69. 
Advocates, first admission of, 8. 
Aikenhead, David (Proyost of Edinburgh), 

86, 88. 
Albany, Duke of, 4. 
Albany, Duke of (Charles I.), 164. 
Alexander III., Pope, 146. 
Almond, Lady — see Hay, Dame Margaret 
*' Amazons " of Burntisland, 111. 
Ancram and Lothian,' 'Correspondence 

of the Earls of, 129, 152. 
Angus, Earl of, 47, 144. 
Annand, Viscount — see Murray, John. 
Annandale, Earl ol—sce Murray, John. 
Anne of Denmark (Queen of James VL), 

27, 29, 36, 56, 102, 119, 135, 188, 191. 

Anstruther "Wester, supply of beef by 
Bailies of, 124. 

'Antiquary,' quotation from the, 12. 

Archery, Chancellor Seton's practice of, 
130, 188. 

Architecture, his skill in, 169. 

Argyle, Earl of, 26, 80, 121. 

Argyle and Huntly, reconciliation of, 46 

Arnot, Sir John (Provost of Edinburgh), 
85, 86, 102. 

Arran, Earl of — see Stewart. 

Athanasius, Lord Pitmedden compared 
to, 16. 

Athol, disordered state of, 80. 

Auchindrane Tragedy, 89. 

Augmentation, Seton coat of, 46. 

August 5th, anniversary of Gowrie Con- 
spiracy, 45. 

Ayr, the plague at, 71, 72. 

Bacon, Francis, 62— description of a 
"perfect palace," 172 — estimate of 
James VI., 192. 

Baillie of Provand, William, (first lay 
President), 14, 15, 25. 

Balfour, Sir James (Lord Lyon), 149. 

Balfour, Sir James (Lord President), 10, 14. 

Balmerino, Lord — see Elphinstone, James. 

Bannatyne, James, 90. 

Barns — see Seton of Barns. 



Base coin, utterers of, 113. 

* Basilicon Doron/ 62, 192. 

**BeatiPacifici," 192. 

Beaton, David, Cardinal of St Andrews, 

Belting {einctura gladii\ 46. 

Bemersyde — see Haig. 

Bench, provisions regarding the, 7. 

Billings's 'Baronial and Ecclesiastical 
Antiquities of Scotland,' 169, 170, 

Binning, Lord — see Hamilton, Thomas. 

Bishop Auckland, 200. 

Black, David (Minister of St Andrews), 
28, 84. 

Blackburn, Bishop of Aberdeen, 79. 

Blackness Castle, 70. 

Bleeding of a murdered body, 91. 

Border, peace on the Scottish, 46. 

Border clans, 92. 

Borders, lawlessness of the Scottish, 92. 

Boswell of Balmuto, Sir John, 96, 97. 

Boswell of Craigincat, David, 96, 97. 

Both well. Earl of (Francis Stewart), 115. 

Both well's forfeiture, 27. 

Boyd, Lord, 98. 

Boyd, Robert, Lord, 26. 

Brigg, Professor Henry, 122. 

Bruce, Edward (Lord Bruce of Kinloss), 

Bruce, James, the Abyssinian traveller, 

Bruce, King Robert, 15. 

Bruce, Rev. Robert, 36-7, 44, 128, 133. 

Bruce of Airth, Alexander, 36. 

Brunton and Haig's * Senators of the Col- 
lege of Justice,' 23. 

Buchan arms quarterly, 126. 

Buchan, Earl of, 144. 

Buchanan, George, on the Court of Ses- 
sion, 4 — influence on James VI., 192. 

Buckingham, Duke of, 55. 

** Building," Bacon's Essay on, 172. 

Burghley, Lord — see Cecil, William. 

Burke's 'General Armory,' 168. 

Burnett of Leys, 77. 

Bums, quotation from, 81. 

Burntisland, Spanish, vessel at. 111 — 
disturbance at, ib. 

Burton, Dr John Hill, 169— on the 
Gowrie Conspiracy, 43, 46 — on the 
succession to the English crown, 47. 

Caldkrwood's * History of the Kirk of 
Scotland,' 27 et seq. —estimate of Chan- 
cellor Seton, 181. 

Calendar, Countess oi—see Hay, Dame 

Calendar, Earl of — see Livingstone. 

Campbells, the, and the Clandonald, 

Canongate Tolbooth, 80. 

Carey, Sir Robert (afterwards Earl oi 
Monmouth), his ride to Holyrood, 47 — 
his 'Memoirs,' 199. 

Cariston — see Seton of Cariston. 

Carles and carlines, 18. 

Carnegie of CoUuthie, Sir David, 27. 

Cashel, bishopric of, 12^. 

Cassilis, Earl of, 89, 90. 

Castille and Portugal, union between, 64. 

CecU, Sir Robert (Earl of Salisbury), 46, 
73, 100 — his correspondence with Lord 
Fyvie, 62, 67, 67— death of, 135. 

CecU, WiUiam (Lord Burghley), 46, 190. 

Celt, Chancellor Seton's estimate of the, 

Chalmers's 'History of Dunfermline,* 
126, 174. 

Chambers's 'Popular Rhymes of Scot- 
land,' 147. 

Chancellor, the Lord, 9. 

Chancellor of Scotland, -the last, 9 — pre- 
cedency of the, 149. 

Charlemagne, 129. 

Charles I., 129, 162-4, 188— coronation 
of, 149. 

Charles XL, 162, 163. 

Charles, Prince (Duke of York and 
Albany, and Charles I.), 152, 164, 
195, 199, 200— birth at Dunfermline, 
45, 50 — custody of, 61, 61— health of. 



65, 56, 69--visit to Leicester, 68-60— 
baptism, 87. 

Charron, M. Pierre, 168. 

Charteris, Colonel, 168. 

Chatellarault, Duik of, 17. 

Chesters, Lord — see Henryson. 

Cheyne, Alexander, his trial for assault, 

Christmas kept in Edinburgh, 80. 
Ciiictura gladii (Belting), 46. 
Clandonald of Isla, 112, 118. 
Clark's * Game of Gk)lf,' 189. 
Classical allusions in Seton's letters, 92, 

128, 195. 
Cockbum, Henry (Lord Cockbum), 85. 
College of Justice, due maintenance of, 

66, 62 — see Court of Session. 
Collieries, Scottish, Royal letter anent 

the, 114. 

Combat, trial by, 118. 

*' Comely wenche," a, 151-4. 

Commissioner, Seton appointed King's, 

Commissioners of the Kirk, 28. 

Communion cup at Fyvie, with Chan- 
cellor Seton's arms, 175. 

Communion, English moile of celebrating 
the. 121. 

** Conscience Brig," Dunfermline, 98. 

Corke and Orrery, Earl of, 199. 

Couper, Bishop of Galloway, 116. 

Court of Session established, 2 — constitu- 
tion of the, 3 — Buchanan's estimate of 
the, 4 — hours of sitting and advising 
of causes, 8 — spiritual and temporal 
distinction abolished, 12 — Extraordin- 
ary and Ordinary Lords, 12 — its re- 
storation in 1661, 10 — despatch of 
business in, 62 — due maintenance of, 
66, 62 — winter vacation, 85 — the pro- 
per tribunal for peerage questions, 111 
— visited by James YL, 125. 

Covenanters supported by the 2d Earl of 
Dunfermline, 163. 

Craig of Writchisland, Sir Thomas, 62. 

Crane, Sir John, 68, 69. 

Crawford, Earl of, 152. 

Crawford and Balcarrcs, Earl of, 25, 79 

— see Lindsay, Lord. 
Crawfurd's 'Peerage of Scotland,* 24 — 

♦Officers of State,' 51, 64, 141, 149, 

183 — estimate of Chancellor Seton, 

Crown and Kirk, hostility between, 80. 
Crucifix scandal at Dunfermline, 103. 
Culzean, Laird of — see Kennedy. 
Cupar *' raise in Fyff," 99. 
Currie, James, Ormond l^ursuivant, 142. 

D ALGETY, estate of, 145. 

Dalgety, old church of, 145, 146, 161, 

165 — Chancellor Seton buried at, 141-4 

— Dunfermline vault in, 146. 
Dalrymple, Sir David — see Hailes, Lord. 
Dalrymple, Sir Hew (Lord President), 

Dalrymple, William, murder of, 90. 
Dalrymple family, App. ii. 8. 
Deer Hill {Fia Chein), 170. 
Dempster's *De Scriptoribus Scotis, 16 

— estimate of Chancellor Seton, 182, 

** Denbigh CoUection," 167. 
Denmiln MS., Adv. Lib., 186. 
Donaldson, Rev. Andrew, minister of 

Dalgety, 163. 
Donibristle, 146. 
Don-Wauchope, Sir John, 143. 
*'Doomick'' hangings, 160. 
Douglas, James, Lord of Carlyle, etc., 

Douglas, Lady Mary (wife of 2d Earl of 

Dunfermline), 165. 
Douglas, William, 7th Earl of Morton, 

Douglas's 'Baronage of Scotland,' 97 — 

' Peerage of Scotland,' first edition, 

50— Wood's edition, 24, 152. 
Douglases, dominance of the, 190. 
Doune, Lord (James Stewart), 21. 
Dragon, fiery (Seton crest), 135. 
' Dreme,' quotation from the, 6. 



Dramlanrig, Laird of, 109. 

Drummond arms at Fyrie, 174. 

Dnimmond, James, 4th Lord, created 
Earl of Perth, 66. 

Drummond, Mr John, 142. 

Drummond, Patrick, 3d Lord, 107, 160. 

Drummond, Hon. Lilias (first wife of 
Chancellor Seton), 150-2, 154, 160. 

Drummond, William, 94. 

Drjsdale, Thomas, Hay Herald, 143. 

Duddingston, Janet (Lady Lathallan), 

Dumbarton, 38, 80. 

Dunbar, Captain A. H., 127. 

Dunbar- Dunbar, of Seapark, Captain, 127. 

Dunbar, Earl of, 73, 74, 80, 82, 92, 99, 
100, 101, 106, 107— pacification of the 
Borders, 195. 

Dunbar, Gavin, Archbishop of Glasgow, 4. 

Dunbar, George (Chancellor Seton's ser- 
vant), 143. 

Dunbar, Sir George, 94. 

Duncane, Geillis, 191. 

Dundas family, App. it 4. 

Dundee, the **pest" in, 72. 

Dundee, Viscount — see Grahame. 

Dunfermline, Bailie and Constable of, 
102— Chancellor Seton 's arms at, 174 — 
House, Elgin, 125, 126— race-bell, 96 
— William Schaw's monument at, 187. 

Dunglass House, 125. 

Dunkeld, Lord, 166— w« Galloway. 

Dunkirk vessel in Loith Roads, 136. 

Dutch enterprise against Antwerp, 67. 

Edinburgh, sanitary state of, 66 — street 
broils in, 69— Seton elected provost of, 
84— excerpts from city accounts, 86- 
89— robes of the Town Council, 96— 
repair of Castle, 115 — burgesses of, 
and the refractoiy ministers, 127. 

Edward I., 170. 

Edward YL, his proposed marriage to 
Mary Stuart, 64. 

Edzell and Pittarro, affray between the 
Laiixls of, 69. 

Egerton, Sir Thomas — see Ellesmere. 
Egerton, Lord Francis (Earl of Ellesmere), 

Eglinton, 6th Earl of— «e0 Seton of Fool- 

struther, Sir Alexander. 
Eglinton, last of the Montgomerie Earls 

of, 109. 
Eglinton and Glencaim, feud between 

the Earls of; 77, 80. 
Elgin, Chancellor Seton's house at, 125, 

126 — provost of, 126. 
Elgin, Earl of, 42. 

Elizabeth, Queen, 41, 46, 179, 190— chan- 
cellor of, 106— death of, 47, 48. 
Elizabeth, Princess, birth of, 50, 182— 

marriage of, 105. 
Ellesmere, Lord Chancellor, Seton's letter 

to, 71. 
Elphinstone, James, Lord Balmerino 

(Lord President), 26, 27, SO, 32, 38, 

57, 64. 
Epigrams by Seton, to James VI., 91 — ^to 

Bishop Lesley, 184— to Queen Mary, 

185— to Sir John Skene, 186. 
Errol and Huntly reconciled, 124. 
Erskine, Sir Thomas (Earl of Eellie), 107. 
Erskine family, App. ii. 1. 
Erskine — see Fentoun, and Mar. 
Essex, Earl of, 116. 

EsUtes, convention of, 28, 41, 42, 120. 
Exchequer, precedency of Chief Baron 

of, 11. 
Excommunicated Earls, 28, 29. 
Extraordinary Lords of Session, 9, 12. 

*' Facta non verba," 69. 

Fairs and markets at Fyvie, 173. 

Farmor, Sir George, 200. 

Fast, proposed national, 66. 

Fentoun, Viscount (afterwards Earl of 

Kellie), 107, 114. 
Fents (openings), 143. 
Fia Chein (Deer Hill), 170. 
"Fifteen," the, 12. 
Five Articles of Perth, 132, 133. 
Flanders fruit-dishes, 60. 



"Forbears," services of Chancellor 
Seton's, 81. 

Forbes, Mr John, 70, 78-77. 

Forbes of CuUoden, Duncan (Lord Presi- 
dent), 12, 189. 

Forbes of Tolquhone, 148. 

Forrester, Mr Andrew (minister at Dun- 
fermline), 108. 

Forrester, Mr Alexander (minister of Tra- 
nent), 108. 

• Fortunes of Nigel,' 192. 

Foss's 'Judges of England,' 95. 

Fotheringay, Queen Mary's execution at, 

Foulis of Ravelston, Sir John, 189. 

Foullis, Thomas, loan to, 159. 

Fountainhall, Lord, quoted, 16. 

Fountainhall's (Lord) MSS., 84. 

France and Scotland, alliance between, 62. 

Francisque-Michel quoted or referred to, 
16, 18. 

Eraser's 'Memorials of the Earls of 
Eglinton,' 109. 

Frederick Y., Duke of Bavaria (Elector 
Palatine), 182. 

Fyvie a burgh of barony, 178. 

Fyvie Castle, 25, 170-172 — charter-room, 
162— heraldry of, 174, 175. 

Fyvie, Lord (Alexander Seton), 24 — his 
correspondence with Sir R. Cecil, 52 — 
see Seton, Alexander. 

Fyvie, Lord (son of the Chancellor), 70 
— (son of 2d Earl of Dunfermline), 

Galloway, Bishop of— ^ce Couper. 
Galloway, Mr Patrick, 81. 
Galloway, James, Lord Dunkeld, 81. 
Gambling, novel mode of, 161. 
George I., 182. 

Gibson-Craig, Mr James, 158. 
Gibson of Durie's ' Decisions,' 161. 
Gilmour, Sir John (Lord President), 10. 
Glammis Castle, 171. 
Glammis, Master of, 25 — tutor of, 148. 
Glasgow, Archbishop of— see Spottiswood. 

Glasgow Assembly, "Prelatic Acts" of 

the, 105. 
Glasgow, Bishop of, 101, 105. 
Glasgow, the "pest" in, 72. 
" Glass-houses and stones," 55. 
Glcncaim and Eglinton, feud between 

the Earls of, 77, 80. 
Glenorchy, Laird of, 104. 
*' God's grace and magistrates' diligence," 

Golf, ** royal and ancient " game of, 188. 
Goodwin, Rev. Dr, 91. 
Gordon, George, 1st Duke of, 127, 166. 
Gordon, Hon. General, 171. 
Gordon, Lady Jean (wife of 4th Earl of 

Dunfermline), 127, 167. 
Gordon, Lewis, 8d Marquis of Huntly, 

Gordon, Mr James, 199. 
Gordon, William, 2d Earl of Aberdeen, 

Gordon of Buckie, 145. 
Grordon — see Huntly. 
Gordons of Fyvie, 171, 178. 
Gowrie, Ist Earl of, 148— 8d Earl of, 42- 

Gowrie Conspiracy, 42-45, 192 — anni- 
versary of, 45, 79, 81. 
Growrie House, 45. 

Graham, George (of Ross-shire), 112, 118. 
Graham, Richard (Viscount Preston), 60. 
Graham, Sir Robert-Jamcs-Stuart, 60. 
Graham — see Montrose. 
Grahame of Claverhouse, John, Viscount 

Dundee, 166, 167. 
Gray, Master of, 80. 
Great Seal, "poolke" for the, 106, 129 

—delivery of, 189, 140. 
Gregor, suppression of the clan, 104. 
Gregory XIII., Pope, 19. 
Gregory's ' Highlands and Isles of Scot- 
land,' 87, 112. 
"Greysteel" (Alexander Seton, 6th Earl 

of Eglinton), 109, 110, 154— Me Seton 

of Foulstruther. 
Grimes, Mr (Richard Graham), 60. 



Grose's 'Antiquities of Scotland,' 186. 
' ' Gudeman of Ballangeich " (James V . )> ^* 
Guthry's 'Memoirs of Scottish Affaii-s,' 

"H" JEWEL, 169. 

Haddington, Earl of — see Hamilton, 

Haddington, horse-race at, 98. 

Haddington Presbytery records, 49. 

Haig of Bemersyde, James, 117-119. 

Haig, William, 117-119. 

Haigs of Bemersyde, 93, 117, 119. 

Hailes, Church of, 83. 

Hailes, Lord, his ' Catalogue of the Lords 
of Session,' 16. 

Haitley of Mellerstanes, 80. 

Hall, Rev. John, 86. 

Hamilton, Dr Archibald (Minister of 
Paisley), 129. 

Hamilton, Claude, 143. 

Hamilton, Lord Claude (Lord Paisley), 

Hamilton, Sir Claud, 108. 

Hamilton, Isabel (wife of George, 7th 
Lord Seton), 16, 17— portrait of, 197. 

Hamilton, John, Archbishop of St An- 
drews, 17. 

Hamilton, Thomas (Lord Binning, Earl 
of Haddington, and Lord President), 
27, 30, 31, 32, 62, 56, 62, 64, 67, 73. 
78, 111, 116-118, 120, 121, 127, 128, 
182, 135, 136. 138, 139, 144, 185. 

Hamilton, William, 143. 

Hamilton, Marquess of (King's Commis- 
sioner), 131, 132. 

Hamilton of Sanquhar, Sir William, 16, 

Hamilton arms at Paisley, 18— at Fyvio, 
174, 175. 

Hamilton — see Abercorn. 

Hanover, Ernest, Elector of, 132. 

Hart, William, Justice -Depute, 73. 

Hatfield MSS., 62, 57, 67. 

Hay, Dame Margaret (3d wife of Chan- 
cellor Seton, afterwards Lady Almond 

and Calendar), 114, 131, 146, 147, 151- 
166, 161, 162, 197. 

Hay, Hon. Elizabeth (wife of Greorge, 6th 
Lord Seton), 164. 

Hay, James, 7 th Lord Yester, 131. 

Hay, John, 8th Lord Yester (afterwards 
Earl of Tweeddale), 117, 119, 160, 

Hay, John, Ist Marquess of Tweeddale, 
161, 154. 

Hay, John, 4th Marquess of Tweeddale, 

Hay, Sir George (Lord Clerk Blister, 
aifterwards Earl of Kinnoull), 121, 149, 

Hay, Sir Walter, 143. 

Hay of Drumelzier, Hon. William, 164. 

Hay of Easter Kennet, Alexander, 57, 
72, 75, 91, 104, 106. 

Hay and Seton intermarriages, 168, 154. 

" Hazard yet fordward," 178. 

Henderson's 'Annals of Dunfermline,' 

Henri Quatre's estimate of James VI., 

Henry III. of France, 21. 

Henry VIIL, 159. 

Henry, Prince, 189 — birth of, 50 — cus- 
tody of, 61, 66 — letter to, from his 
father, 51— death of, 106, 117. 

Henryson, Sir Thomas (Lord Chesters), 

Hentzner's 'Journey into England,' 106. 

Heraldry, Chancellor Seton's skill in, 

Herrick, lines by, 37. 

Ilewatt, Rev. Peter, 85. 

Highlands, disturbances in the, 55 — 
peaceful condition of the, 80 — male- 
factors in the, 91. 

Historical MS. Commission, 167. 

Holyrood, "public lesson" at, 20 — 
belting at, 46— Carey's ride to, 48 — 
incised slabs, 69 — royal baptisms, 
86, 87— Seton appointed custodier of, 
101— king's house of, 107— homage of 



the Archbishops at, 114 — reparation of, 
116 — Geillis Duncane at, 191. 

Home, Alexander, Lord, created Earl of 
Home, 66 — volunteers to Spain, 67 — 
James VI. 's visit to, 125. 

Home, Earl of, 148. 

Home of Eccles, 81. 

Home— see Dunbar, Earl of. 

Honours, dispute anent the, 26. 

Hopes of Rnkie, 178. 

Homing, 93. 

Horse-racing in Scotland, 96. 

Howard, Thomas, 1st Earl of Suffolk, 

Hume, Sir Alexander (Provost of Edin- 
burgh), 30. 

Hume's estimate of James VI., 192. 

Hunter, Gilbert, Dingwall Pui-suivant, 

Huntly, Earl of, 29, 30, 145. 

Huntly, Marquess of, 67, 116. 

Huntly and Argyle, reconciliation of, 46, 

Huntly and Errol reconciled, 124. 

Images, idolatrous, 161. 

luglis of Rottenrow, Alexander ("ser- 

vand " of Chancellor Seton), 158. 
Innes of Leuchars, John, 126. 
** IiUaminatis fulget ho7ioribu8,*' 46. 
Inveresk Church (St Michael's), 140. 
Irving, Rev. Edward, 146. 
Isles, son of the Bishop of the, 112, 113. 
Isles, voyage to the (1696), 37. 

James, chap. i. ver. 6, 124. 

James 1. and II., their attempts to estab- 
lish a supreme court, 1. 

Jaraes IV. , his court of daily council, 2 — 
character and qualifications, 4 — mar- 
riage to Mary Tudor, 47. 

James V., Court of Session established 
by, 2 — Act of Institution ratified by, 3 
— zeal for the administration of justice, 
6— character and qualifications, 6 — 
premature death, 7 — his saying regard- 
ing judges' wives, 13. 

James VI., Seton 's "public lesson "at 
Holyrood, 19 — letter appointing Seton 
an Ordinary Lord, 22 — letter to, from 
minister of Kilconquhar, 31 — proced- 
ure in case of Rev. Robert Bruce, 35, 
36 — letter to President Seton (voyage 
to the Isles), 37, 38 — succession to the 
English throne, 39, 47, 179— proposed 
invasion of England, 42 — connection 
with the Gowrie Conspiracy, 44, 46 — 
coronation at Westminster, 50 — sur- 
viving children of, 60 — letter to 
Privy Council relative to the Union, 
64— reply to *'Steenie," 66— letters 
from Chancellor Seton to, 66, 69, 74, 
79, 80, 82, 89, 91, 99, 104, 118, 124, 
128 — works composed by, 91— epigram 
by Chancellor Seton to, 91 — pacifica- 
tion of the Borders, 92 — affair of Sir 
Henry Yelverton, 94 — proclamation 
relative to robes, 95 — death of Prince 
Henry, 105 — Earldom of Eglinton, 
109 — letter regarding the Scottish 
collieries, 114 — \^sit to Scotland in 
1617, 120 et seq.—Tcinrns to England, 
124— his death, 135— loan to Thomas 
Foullis, 159 — domestic architecture of 
his reign, 171— Henri Quatre's estimate 
of, 189 — his mother's execution, 190 — 
Scott's opinion of, 191 — voyage from 
Copenhagen with his bride, 191 — his 
scholarship, 192— Chancellor Seton his 
trusty counsellor, 193. 

James VII., his proposed repeal of the 
penal laws, 16, 166, 167. 

Jericho, Joshua's curse on, 71, 100. 

Jewels of Chancellor Seton, inventory of, 

Johnston, Arthur, 150 — his lines on 
Chancellor Seton, 182. 

Johnstons and Maxwells, feud between 
the, 66. 

* Journal of Jurisprudence,' 46, 78. 

June and December alliances, 162. 

Justice-Clerk, Lord, 12, 120. 

Justice-General, office of, 11. 



Keith, Robert de, 170. 

Eellie Castle, supposed portrait of Chan- 
cellor Seton at, 197. 

Eellie, Earl o(see Erskine. 

Kennedy of Culzean, Sir Thomas, 89, 90. 

Kennedy of Barganie, Thomas, 90. 

Kerr, Lady Margaret, 181. 

Kerr, Andrew, Master of Jedburgh, 181. 

Kerr, Mark, Lord Newbattle (afterwards 
Earl of Lothian), 85, 181. 

Kerr, Sir Robert (Earl of Ancram), 151 
— letter from Chancellor Seton to, 129, 
185, 139, 195. 

Kerr, Sir Robert (Earl of Somerset), 116. 

Kerr of Femiherst, Sir Thomas, 116. 

Kilconquhar, Minister of — see Ruther- 
ford, John. 

Kilcreuch, Lord (Sir Alexander Seton), 

KilUecrankie, battle of, 166. 

Kilmaurs, Lord, 109. 

** King of the Commons " (James V.), 5. 

Kingston's (Lord) 'Continuation of the 
History of the House of Seton,' 19, 20, 
61, 152, 155, 162, 165. 

Kirk and Crown, hostility between the, 

Kirkwall, capture of, 109. 

Knox, John, 86 — his second marriage, 

Laino, Henry, 158 — his * Ancient Scot- 
tish Seals,' 21, 174. 

** Lament " for Chancellor Seton, 147. 

Lammie, Andrew, 173. 

Lament's * Diary,' 147. 

Langside, battle of, 177. 

Lathrisk — see Seton. 

Latin phrases in Seton's correspondence, 

Lauderdale, Duke of, 140, 150, 188. 

Lauderdale, Viscount, 144. 

Leicester, Prince Charles and Lord Fyrie 
at, 58-60. 

Lennox, Earl of, 26, 47. 

Lennox, Ludovick, Duke of, 145. 

Lesley, Bishop, his ' History of Scotland,' 
188— Chancellor Seton's lines to, 184. 

Leslie buckles at Fyvie, 175. 

Leslie, Grizel (second wife of Chancellor 
Seton), 71, 88, 151-154, 160, 175, 199. 

Leslie, James, Master of Rothes, 151. 

Leslie, John, 6th Earl of Rothes, 151. 

Levinus, Consul, 129. 

Library of Chancellor Seton, 160. 

Lindsay, Bishop of Ross, 80. 

Lindsay, David, Lord Balcarres, 188. 

Lindsay, Sir David, his influence on 
James Y., 6 — ^his 'Complaynt to the 
King ' quoted, 10. 

Lindsay, Sir David (Lyon King, n^^ihew 
of the preceding)^ 78. 

Lindsay of Balcarres, Sir David, 148. 

Lindsay, Sir James, 170. 

Lindsay, John (Lord Menmuir), 25, 27, 
, 32, 87, 38. 

Lindsay, Secretary, 188. 

Lindsay, WUliam, 18th Earl of Crawford, 

Lindsay's (Lord) ' Lives of the Lindsays,' 
25 — * Memoir of Lady Anna Mackenzie, ' 
151, 187 — on the culture of the Setons, 

**Lippen," an expressive word used by 
Chancellor Seton, 66, 194. 

Livingstone, James, 1st Earl of Calendar, 

Livingstone, William (Lord Kilsyth), 98. 

Logan of Restalrig, Robert, 44. 

Lord Chancellor — su Chancellor. 

Lord President — see President 

Lothian, Marquess of, 129. 

Lothian — see Ancram, and Kerr. 

Louis YII. of France, 129. 

Loyalty of the Setons, 15, 46. 

Lyon Register, 168. 

Lyoun, Sir Thomas, 148. 

Lyoun's *Teares for the Earl of Dun- 
fermline,' 147. 

Macaulay's reference to 4th Earl of 
Dunfermline, 167. 



M'Gillieworike, execution of, 118. 
Mackenzie, Lady Anna, 151. 
Mackenzie of Eintail, Kenneth, 125. 
Mackenzie's 'Lives of Scottish Writers/ 

Maecenases of Scotland, 39, 40, 123. 
** Magister," the term, 40. 
' ' Ma^trates' diligence and God's grace," 

Maidment, Mr James, 148, 195 — his 

* Nngee Scoticffi,' 189. 
Maitland, John, 1st Earl of Landerdale, 

150, 188. 
Maitland, Chancellor (Lord Thirlstane), 

27, 150, 188. 
Maitland, Sir Richard, his 'History of 

the House of Seytoun,' 17. 
Maitland Club 'Miscellany,' 96, 99. 
Maitland's ' History of Edinburgh,' 81. 
Makesone, Eliazer, Bute Pursuivant, 148. 
Makgill of Rankeillor, James (Lord Clerk 

Register), 178. 
Makgill, Sir James (Provost of Edin- 
burgh), 178. 
Makgill, Sir James (Viscount Oxfurd), 

Mar, Earl of, 80, 61, 56, 78, 124, 187, 

Mar, Countess of, 137. 
Mar, Earldom of, 79. 
Marcus Scaurus, 74, 75. 
Margaret, Princess, baptism of, 86. 
Marischal, George, Earl, 78. 
Markets and fairs at Fyvie, 173. 
Mary, Queen of Scots, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 

27, 49, 64 — Chancellor Seton's lines to, 

Mass, statute against the, 27. 
Masson, Professor, 190, 192. 
Matches, good, 157. 
Maxims at Pinkie, 176. 
Maxwell of Herries, John, Lord, 107. 
Maxwells and Johnstons, feud between 

the, 66. 
Medal commemorative of 7th Lord Seton's 

marriage, 18. 

Medallion of Charles, 2d Earl of Dunferm- 
line, 168, 197. 

Medina, Sir John, 196. 

Meikle, Robert, his monument at Dal- 
gety, 166. 

Meldrum of Segie, James, 22. 

"Meldrum Tower," Fyvie, 171. 

Meldrums of Fyvie, 170. 

Melfort, Earl of, 166. 

Melros, Earl of— see Hamilton, Thomas. 

Melville, Andrew, 86. 

Melville, Sir Robert (Lord Melville), 

Melville's (Mr James) ' Diary,' 28, 76. 

Menmuir, Lord — see Lindsay, John. 

Menteith of Closebum, Sir James Stuart, 

Menzies of Carlops, John, 142. 

Meteorological epistle, 108. 

Methven, battle of, 15. 

Milan, College of, 144. 

"Mill o' Tiftie's Annie," 173. 

Milwaird, Rev. Dr, 91. 

Moir, Dr("Delto"), 140. 

Monteith, Earl of, 144. 

Monteith of Kerse, 97, 98, 143. 

Montgomerie, Lady Margaret (1st 0>unt- 
ess of Winton), 109. 

Montrose, Earl of (Chancellor), 63, 73. 

Montrose, Earl and Marquess of, 43. 

Montrose, Marquess of, at Fyvie, 178. 

Montsabert, C^iateau de, 171. 

Moray of Abercaimoy, Susan, daughter 
of James, 168. 

Moray, Bonnie Earl of, 21, 145. 

More, Sir Antonio, 16, 196, 197. 

Morton, Earl of, 26, 98, 144— ^m Douglas. 

Morton, Regent, 69. 

Murder Hole, Fyvie, 171. 

Mure of Auchindrane, John, 90. 

Mure of Auchindrane, James, yr., 90. 

Murray, Earl of, 145. 

Murray — see Moray. 

Murray, John (Viscount Annand and Earl 
of Annandale), 100, 106, 107, 187— his 
correspondence with Seton, 106 et seq. 



Murray of Cockpool, Sir Charles, 106. 

Murray, Sir Gideon, 102. 

Musselburgh, 141— old bridge of, 169— 

Chancellor Seton's interest in, 188. 
My In, Alexander (1st Lord President), 


Napier of Merchiston, John ("Old Log"), 

"Napier's bones," 122. 
Newbattle, Mark, Abbot of, 25. 
Nicolson's (Bishop) 'Scottish Historical 

Library,* 27. 
Niddry Castle, 79. 
Nisbet, Lieutenant John, 167. 
Nisbet's 'System of Heraldry,* 46. 
Northumberland, Earl of, 192. 
** Notably," peculiar use of the word, 

Numa, king and priest, 132. 

OoTAViANS, the, 27, 28, 30, 81. 
Ogil vie of Banff, 143. 
Ogilvie of Camowties, 143. 
* Old Mortality,' character in, 116. 
Oliphant, King's Advocate, 121. 
Orange, Prince of, 166. 
Ordinary Lords of Session, 9, 12. 
Orkney, capture of pirates in, 99 — dis- 
turbance in« 109. 
Orkney, Patrick, Earl of, 109. 
** Orpheus " jewel, 159. 
Osuna, Duke of, 64, 65. 
Overbury, Sir Thomas, 116. 

Paisley Abbey (Chapel of St Mirrinus), 

Paisley, horse-races at, 98. 

Palatinate, defence of the, 128, 132. 

Papal See, its influence on the constitu- 
tion of the Court of Session, 4. 

Paris Parliament, its influence on the 
constitution of the Court of Session, 4. 

Parliament House window (institution of 
Court of Session), 2. 

Parrou, Cardinal, 192. 

Paterson's * History of Musselburgh,' 188. 

Peace on the Scottish Border, 46. 
** Pece " of Spanish wine, 86. 

Peerage, first Scottish patent of, 45. 

Pennant's description of Gowrie House, 

Perth or St Johnstown, 42, 74, 79 — the 
** pest "in, 72. 

Perth, Earl of, 66, 144 — ^his estimate of 
Chancellor Seton, 182 — see Drum- 

"Pest," the, in Edinburgh, etc., 70, 

Petit's * Castles of the Loire,' 171. 

PhiUp II. of Spain, 18. 

Philipps, Mr John, 147. 

Pinkerton on James Y., 5. 

Pinkie House, 170 — inscriptions, devices, 
and painted gallery at, 176, 177 — 
alterations at, 157 — library and ward- 
robe at, 158 — Chancellor Seton's death 
at, 136, 141. 

Pirates captured in Oi-kney, 99. . 

Pitcaim's 'Criminal Trials,' 78, 90, 109, 

Pitcur, Laird of, 166. 

Pitferran, Laird of, 76. 

Pitmedden — see Seton of Pitmedden. 

Pitmedden'sMS., 23. 

Pitscottie on James V., 5. 

Pittarro, Laird of — see Edzell. 

Plague in Scotland, the, 71 — see "Pest." 

Plate of Chancellor Seton, inventory of, 
■ 168. 

Pluscarden, lands of, 18, 22, 125. 

Pluscarden, Prior of (Seton's title as an 
Extraordinary Lord), 21, 23. 

Pont, Robert, his * Newe Treatise ' dedi- 
cated to Lord Fyvie, 39, 182. 

Pont, Timothy (minister of Dunnet), 

Popish Lords, 28, 29. 

Portugal and Castille, 64, 65. 

" Pourtrait of True Loyalty," 166. 

• Pnelium Gilliecrankianimi,' 167. 

Precedency of Scottish peers, 78. 



President, Lord, at first an ecclesiastic, 
9 — alteration in his mode of elec- 
tion, 10— precedency, 11 — salary and 
town residence, 11 — robes, 95. 

Presidents, list of the Lord, 201. 

Preston of Fentonbams, John (Lord 
President), 64. 

•* Preston Tower," Fyvie, 170. 

Prestons of Fyvie, 170. 

Prestonpans, battle of, 177. 

Priority — see Precedency. 

Privy Council of Scotland, proceedings of 
the, 112, 133 — letter from, announcing 
Chancellor Seton's death, 137 — Register 
of the, 190-192. 

Puritans, the, 68. 

QuARTEBS, heraldic, mode of reckoning, 

Quintus Varius, 74, 75. 

* RABDOLOOiiB * of Napier, dedicated to 

Chancellor Seton, 122. 
Race-bell, Dunfermline, 96. 
Rait of Edmonstone, James (servitor and 

secretary to Chancellor Seton), 115, 

143, 158. 
Rait, Anna, 143. 
Ranfurley, Laird of (Knox), 113. 
Ranking, Decreet of, 78. 

* Redgauntlet* referred to, 13. 
** Red "Parliament, 79. 

Reid, Robert (Lord President), 14. 

*' Reverend,** peculiar application of the 

term, 40. 
Riddell's ' Peerage and Consistorial Law,' 

111, 188. 
Rigg, William (burgess of Edinburgh), 


Ritson's * North Country Chorister, * 

Robert IIL, 170. 

Robes of Chancellor, Judges, etc., pro- 
clamation anent, 95. 

Roman republic, 74. 

Rome, Jesuits* College at, 19. 

Rothes, Earl of, 144— Chancellor, 189— 
see Leslie. 

Roxbni^h, Lady (sister-in-law of Chan- 
cellor Seton), 107. 

Ruby ring gifted by Queen Mary, 17. 

Ruddiman's criticism on Buchanan*s esti- 
mate of the Court of Session, 4. 

Russell's * Haigs of Bemersyde,' 93, 119. 

Rutherford, John (minister of Kilcon- 
quhar), his extraordinary letter to 
James VL, 31-34. 

Ruthven, Alexander, Master of, 44. 

Ruthven, Dame Beatrix, 148. 

Ruthven, House of, 43. 

Ruthvens, dominance of the, 190. 

Salisbury, Earl oi—see Cecil, Robert 
Salisbury, Marquess of, 52. 
Saltoun, John, Lord, 145. 
Sanquhar, Lord, 109. 
Sanquhar, Robert, 6th Lord, 115. 
Sanquhar, William, 7th Lord (afterwards 

Earl of Dumfries), 115. 
Sapphire ring (token of James VL), 48. 
Schaw, Sir John, 106. 
Schaw, William, Master of Works to 

James VI. , 187. 
Scone, Lord, 81, 102. 
"Scot, the Bonny," 54. 
Scotland, ''grandchildren** of, 132 — the 

last king of, 49. 
Scotstarvet quoted or referred to, 19, 63, 

100, 119, 161, 162. 
Scott, Sir Walter, his estimate of James 

VI., 191, 192— novels referred to, 12, 

13, 192— his "Auchindrane Tragedy,** 

Scott*s 'Fasti Ecclesias Scoticanse,* 34, 49, 

Scroope, Lady, 48. 
Seal — 9te Great SeaL 
Sederunt, Books of, 23, 25, 26— Acts of, 

7, 61. 
Selden*s 'Table Talk,* 13. 
Session — 9U Court. 
Sessions and vacations, 9. 



SetoD, Alexander, 1st Earl of Donferm- 
line, election to office of Lord Presi- 
dent, 10, 15, 26— date of his birth, 17 
— Queen Mary's **godbaime gift," 18 
— oration at Rome, 19— skill in archi- 
tectore and heraldry, 19 — classical 
scholarship, 19 — said to have taken 
holy orders, 19 — ^residence in Italy and 
France, 19— call to the Bar, 20 — ac- 
companies his father to France, 21 — 
admitted an Extraordinary Lord, 21 — 
appointed an Ordinary Lord, 22 — sup- 
posed Popish tendencies, 23, 82-88, 40, 
182 — designations in Books of Sederunt, 
28-24, 26 — leaye of absence from the 
Court, 25— a substitute for Chancellor 
Maitland, 27— one of the Octavians, 
27 — harangue at the Falkland Conven- 
tion, 28— case of Mr David Black, 29 
— summoned before Synod of Lothian, 
29 — scene at the Tolbooth, 30— Lord 
Provost of Edinburgh, 81 — ** shaveling 
and priest," 82-83 — dignified conduct 
in the case of the Rev. Robert Bruce, 
85-86, 180, 182— letter from James 
VI. (voyage to the Isles), 87, 38— 
letter to Secretary Lindsay, 88— cor- 
respondence with James YL, 88, 52 
et 9eq, — dedication of Pont's *Newe 
Treatise,' 89 — opposes proposed in- 
vasion of England, 42, 180 — custody 
of Prince Charles, 51— correspondence 
with Sir Robert Cecil, 52 et scq, — ap- 
peal on behalf of the College of Justice, 
56 — appointed Vice-Chancellor, 57 — 
visit to Leicester, 58-60 — appointed 
Chancellor, 68 — his successor as Presi- 
dent, 64— returns from England, 64 — 
his different signatures, 66 — created 
Earl of Dunfermline, 66 — domestic 
affliction caused by the plague, 71 — 
letter to Chancellor EUesmere, 71 — 
case of Mr John Forbes, 73-77— esca- 
pade of his nephews in Perth, 77-78 — 
one of the Commissioners in connection 
with the "Decreet of Ranking," 78— 

services of himself and "forbears," 81 — 
preceptory of St Anthony, 83— elected 
Provost of Edinburgh, 84 — supplied 
with wine and torches by the Council, 
85-89— "Auchindrane Tragedy," 89-90 
— ^his estimate of the Celt, 91 — pacifica- 
tion of the Borders, 92— affair of Sir 
Henry Yelverton, 94 — patronage of the 
tuif^ 96 — capture of pirates in Orkney, 
99— at English Court, 100, 101, 105, 
115— Sir Robert Melville's favourable 
opinion of, 101 — appointed custodier 
of Holyrood, and Bailie and Constable 
of Dimfermline, 101, 102 — crucifix 
scandal in 1612, 102 — suppression of 
Clan Gregor, 104 — appointed King's 
Conunissioner, 104 — application for 
"poolke" for Great Seal, 106— corre- 
spondence with John Murray, 106 et 
wy.,118, 129— "Besinesof Eglintoun," 
109, 110 — ^letters to Lord Binning, 111 
—affair of the Clandonald, 112 — Lord 
Sanquhar's high estimate of, 115 — 
episode in family of Haig of Bemer- 
syde, 117— speeches by, 28, 121, 124, 
128, 131, 182 — Napier's dedication to, 
122 — ^residence in Elgin, 125 — Provost 
of Elgin, 126— delation of Mr Robert 
Bruce, 128— letter to Sir Robert Kerr, 
129-181— approval of the •* Five Art!- 
cles," 133— illness and death of, 135- 
137 — testimony to his capacity, 189, 
140-burial at Dalgety, 141-144— his 
Fifeshire estate, 144 — arms of, 146 — 
disinterment of, in 1822, 147 — Lyoun's 
Lament for, 147 — his official successor, 
149 — marriages and descendants, 150- 
153 — testament and inventory, 155 — 
provision for his unmarried daughters, 
157 — his jewels, plate, books, etc, 
158-160 — his widow, Dame Margaret 
Hay, 161 — skill in architecture and 
heraldry, 169 — ^builder of Pinkie and 
Fyvie, 170, 171 — ^numerous offices and 
honours, 180 — praised by both Spottis- 
wood and Calderwood, 181 — epigrams 



composed by, IBS et seq. — beneficial 
influence on hia connections, 188 — ad- 
diction to games and manly exercises, 
188 — ^faithful discharge of public duty, 
189 — the trusty counsellor of James 
VI., 198— character of his correspond- 
ence, 193 — specimens of puzzling pas- 
sages, 194 — portraits of, at Yester, 
196 — summary of his character and 
qualifications, 197 — suggested memo- 
rial of, 198. 

Seton, Charles, 2d Earl of Dunfermline, 
16, 147, 162, 163, 166-167— death of 
his wife, 147 — lawsuits with his mother, 
161 — active share in public afifairs, 162 
— sympathy with the Covenanters, 168, 
164 — appointed an Extraordinary Lord 
of Session, 163— kindness to Mr Andrew 
Donaldson, 163 — in Holland with 
Charles II., 163 — acknowledgment of 
his public services, 164 — Bishop Guth- 
ry's statement regarding him, 164 — 
his medallion in British Museum, 168, 
197 — his portrait at Yester, 197. 

Alexander, 3d Earl of Dunferm- 
line, 147, 166. 

James, 4th Earl of Dunfermline, 

126, 166-168— with Dundee at KiUie- 
^crankie, 166 — forfeiture and death, 

167— external appearance, 168. 
Sir Alexander (6th Earl of Eglin- 

ton) — su Seton of Foulstruther. 
Alexander, 1st Viscount Kingston, 

164 — see Kingston. 

— Charles, Lord Fyvie (son of 1st Earl 
of Dunfermline), 151— (son of 2d Earl), 

— David, of Tranent, 191. 

— George, 6th Lord, 16, 17, 98, 164. 

— George, 7th Lord, 16, 17, 21, 49, 

84, 98, 164, 177, 196. 

— George, Master of, 18. 

— George, 3d Earl of Winton (nephew 
of the Chancellor), 133, 138-140, 142, 
148, 166-167, 169— visited by James 
VL, 128, 126. 

Seton, George, 4th Earl of Winton, 150. 

Henry, 144. 

James (Cariston), 144. 

Colonel James, Governor of St Vin- 
cent, 168. 

Lieut. -Colonel James, 168. 

John (brother of Earl of Winton), 


— Robert, 144. 

— Robert, 8th Lord (afterwards 1st 
Earl of Winton), 18, 46, 116, 150, 158, 
191 — his funeral procession, 48 — his 
presbyterial visitation, 49. 

— Thomas (brother of Earl of Winton), 


— William (Professor at Angiers), 16. 

— William, his 'Life of Chancellor 
Seton,' 183. 

William (younger of Kyllismore), 


— Lady Anne (Viscountess Fentoun), 
150, 162. 

— Lady Grizel (daughter of the Chan- 

cellor), 162, 163, 166, 167. 

— Lady Isabel (Countess of Perth, 
and niece of Chancellor Seton, 116, 160. 

— Lady Isabel (Countess of Lauder- 

dale), 160. 

— Lady Jean (Countess of Tweeddale), 
161, 166, 167— portrait of, 197. 

— Lady Lilias (daughter of the Chan- 

cellor), 87, 161. 

— Lady Maigaret (daughter of the 
Chancellor, and Lady Paisley), 18, 24, 
161, 162. 

— Lady Margaret (Countess of Sea- 
forth), 161, 163. 

— Lady Mary (daughter of Chancel- 
lor Seton), 162. 

— Lady Sophia (Lady Lindsay of Bal- 

Carres), 161. 

— of Abercom, Sir Bruce-Maxwell, 16. 

— of Bams, 168— Sir John, 16, 18, 71, 
190— Sir James (John ?), 148. 

— of Barra, George, 144. 

— of Cariston, John (Geoiget), 142. 



Seton of Falsyde, James, 144. 

ofFoulstruther, Sir Alexander (after- 
wards 6th Earl of Eglinton, and nephew 
of the Chancellor), 77, 109, 110, 133, 
144, 154, 156. 

of Gargonnock, Sir Alexander (Lord 

Kilcreuch), 16, 142. 

— of Kyllismore, Sir William, 18, 148, 
156, 157. 

— of Lathrisk, Alexander, 142— Capt 

Patrick, 127— John, 127. 

— of Meldrum, Walter, 142. 

— of Monies, 144. 

— of Pitmedden, Sir Alexander (Lord 
Pitmedden), 16, 23 — Sir James-Lums- 
den, 16. 

— of Schethim, 144. 

— of Touch, James, 142. 

— ofUdny, WUliam, 142. 

— and Hay intermarriages, 153, 154. 

— arms, 18 — at Fyvie and Pinkie, 174, 

177__at Fyvie Church, 175. 
— and Buchan arms quarterly, 126. 
Church, 169 — epitaph at, by Chan- 

cellor Seton, 186— James VL at, 123. 

— crest, 135, 159. 

— family of, 49 {see Tabular Pedigree 
opposite p. 155). 

— House of, 15 — its judicial members, 


Palace of, 48, 84, 123, 162, 169, 177. 

Seton-thom, 101. 

** Seton Tower," Fyvie, 170, 174. 

Setons, culture of the, 187. 

Seton's 'Scottish Heraldry,' 107. 

Sharp, Archbishop, 163. 

Simon, Thomas, his work on "Medals 

and Coins," 197. 
Sinclair, Henry (Lord President), 14. 
Sinclair, John, (Lord President), 14. 
Sinclair's 'Satan's Invisible World,' 150. 
Sitonis de Scotia, Joannes, 144. 
Skelmorlie, Laird of, 108. 
Skene, Sir James (Lord President), 

Skene of Curriohill, Sir John (Lord Clerk 

Register), 27, 78 — Chancellor Seton's 
epigram to, 185. 

Skipwith, Sir William, 59, 60. 

Somerset, Earl of, 110 — see Kerr, Sir 

Somerville, Hugh, 5th Lord, 106. 

Sophia, Princess, 132. 

Spain, Scottish volunteers to, 67. 

Spalding Club 'Miscellany,' 175, 183. 

Spanish vessel at Burntisland, 111. 

Spedding's ' Letters and Life of Francis 
Bacon, 62, 193 — estimate of James YL, 

Spiritual Estate, Lords of the, 25. 

SpottiBwood, Sir Robert (Lord President), 

Spottiswood, John, Archbishop of Glas- 
gow and St Andrews, 73, 103, 105, 
109, 114, 121, 131, 144, 149, 183— 
his 'History of the Church of Scot- 
land,' 19, 76, 181, 183— estimate of 
Chancellor Seton, 181. 

Statistical account of Scotland, new, 140, 
173— old, 144. 

Stature of the Setons, 147. 

" Steenie " and James VL, 55. 

Stepney, family of, 43. 

Stevenson's 'Men and Books,' 162. 

Stewart, Capt. James (Earl of Arran), 69. 

Stewart, Francis (titular Earl of Both- 
weU), 115. 

Stewart, Walter (Prior of Blantyre), 27. 

Stirling, the plague at, 71, 72. 

Street broils in Edinburgh, etc., 69, 77. 

Struthers, Rev. Dr (minister of Preston- 
paus), 141. 

Stuart, Arabella, 47, 94. 

St Andrews, Archb. of— see Spottiswood. 

St Anthony, preceptory of, 83. 

St Brigid, 146. 

St George, Order of, 159. 

St Germains, 4th Earl of Dunfermline at, 

St Giles' Cathedral, 30, 198. 

St Johnstown — see Perth. 

St Thomas, Arbroath, monks of, 170. 



Succession to English crown, 47. 
Sutherland, Earl of, 152. 
Suttie of Balgono, Anne, daughter of Sir 
George, 168. 

** Tam o' thb Cowoatk," 6i—see Ham- 
ilton, Thomas. 

Tapestry of Chancellor Seton, 160. 

Temporal estate. Lords of the, 25. 

Territorial titles of Scottish Judges, 18. 

Thirlstane, Lord — see Maitland. 

Tiberius, Emperor, 129. 

Time, alteration in the moile of comput- 
ing, 41. 

Titus, £m|)eror, 129. 

Tolbooth, the Edinburgh, 30, 117. 

Toome, Castle of, 108. 

Torches provided for Seton as Provost of 
Edinburgh, 87. 

Touch — see Seton of Touch. 

Towie, Laird of, 143. 

* Tranent, Sketches of,* 191. 

Trevanion, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir 
Hugh, 200. 

*'Triplici nodo, triplex cuneus," 91. 

Tweoddalo family, owners of Pinkie, 178. 

Twccddalo, Marquess of, 197 see Hay. 

Tudor, Mary, 47. 

Turf, Chancellor Scton*s patronage of the, 
96, 188. 

Tumor, assassination of John, 115. 

Tytler*s 'History of Scotland' quoted, 
10, 35, 48 — his estimate of Chancellor 
Seton, 182. 

"Una CUM," 62. 
**Ung Dieu, ung loy," etc., 18. 
Union of the Crowns, 53, 55, 179. 
Union, prejudice against the, 54 — ques- 
tion of the, 58, 62, 63. 
Urciuhart Brig, 98— lands of, 22. 
Uniuhart, Lord (Scton's title as an Ordi- 

nary Lord), 22 — perhaps also a title of 
peerage, 24. 
Urquhart, Sir Thomas, 143. 

Vacations and sessions, 9, 85. 

Vandyke, Sir Anthony, 43, 197. 

Vengeance, Divine, 70. 

Virgin Mary, portrait of, 159. 

** Virgin Queen "see Elizabeth, Queen. 

Wallace, Robt. (minr. of Tranent), 49. 

Watson, Mr William (minister at Burnt- 
island), 111. 

Wauchope, John, 143. 

Weather of 1614 and 1881, 108. 

Weldon's estimate of James VL, 192. 

Westminster, coronation of James VL, 50. 

Wliitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, 50. 

Wigton, WiUiam, 5th Earl of, 165. 

Windram, Robert, Albany Herald, 143. 

Wine supplied to Seton as Provost of 
Edinburgh, 85-9. 

Winton, Master of, 77. 

Winton— ySM Seton, and Montgomcrie. 

Winton House, 169. 

Witchcraft in the 17th century, 191. 

Wives of Scottish judges, 13. 

Wodrow quoted or referred to, 16, 37. 

** Wyne and spiccrie" at Aberdeen, 175. 

Years, Pont on the right reckoning of, 
38 — change in mode of reckoning, 41. 

Yelvcrton, Sir Henry, 94. 

Yester, Lord, 145— 3d to 8th Lords, 154 
— see Hay. 

Yester, i^rtraite at, 161, 168, 196, 197. 

York, Duke ot—sce Charles, Prince. 

Young's 'Annals of Elgin,' 125. 

Young of Seton, Peter, 27, 190. 

Ythan river, 170. 

ZuccARO, F., 196, 197.